The world economy is suffering a very turbulent summer due to the accumulation of numerous risk factors at a financial and geopolitical level. If a few months ago the main focus of concern of investors focused on the commercial war between the US and China since 2018, the alerts have skyrocketed in recent weeks, with the consequent impact on global growth forecasts.
The first and most important threat remains the commercial protectionism After months of high political tension, the tariff war between the US and China, the largest economies on the planet, since March 2018 jumped to a higher level this August, after Donald Trump announced the imposition of new tariffs to cover all Products from the Asian giant.
The reaction was swift. A few days later, the People's Bank of China (BPC) let the yuan will depreciate to its lowest level since 2008, thus unleashing the fear of monetary war, which would further damage trade, thereby hampering the growth of world GDP. As a result, the money fled to the traditional refuge values, as is the case with public debt, gold and even bitcoin.
Last Tuesday, however, the US authorities delayed the entry into force of these tariffs for some Chinese products next December 15, easing a little tension between the two countries, but doubts remain about the conclusion of an agreement that puts End this fight.
Brexit without agreement
The United Kingdom, meanwhile, remains mired in uncertainty and political chaos. The recent arrival in power of the conservative and Eurosceptic Boris johnson It has triggered the possibility of the worst possible scenario materializing: a Brexit without agreement. The British Prime Minister is in favor of breaking ties with the community bloc on October 31, even if the conditions of departure with Brussels have not been agreed.
Johnson says he will not accept a pact that includes the controversial clause to ensure that a border is not established between the Republic of Ireland and the British region of Northern Ireland, a provision that the EU has so far considered irrevocable. The departure without agreement would mean a abrupt breakdown of deep commercial and economic ties that exist between the United Kingdom and the rest of the EU, which could greatly affect the growth of both.
Will China intervene in Hong Kong?
Protests in Hong Kong began in March against the initiative of local authorities to enact an extradition law that, according to their opponents, could help political dissidents and sectors critical of the communist regime be taken to China to be prosecuted without guarantees legal. Since then, the internal pressure has not stopped increasing, to the point that China has mobilized troops near the border, unleashing rumors about a possible Military intervention in the country, which would raise geopolitical tension even more.
The Chinese economy suffers
The Industrial production China expanded 4.8% year-on-year in July, a percentage point and a half less than the previous month. The figure, well below analysts' forecasts – they forecast a growth of around 5.8% for that month -, supposes the slower growth of this indicator since February 2002 and evidences the weakness of the domestic demand of the Asian giant in full commercial dispute with the US. According to the British consultant Capital Economics, the data shows that the slowdown in the Chinese economy is sharpening and predicts "more weakness on the horizon."
The euro zone stagnates
The decline in trade flows and the lower growth of world GDP is also noted on Europe. The Euro zone economy recorded a 0.2% growth between April and June, half of the 0.4% observed in the first quarter of 2019, according to Eurostat. Compared to the second quarter of 2019, the GDP of the euro zone grew by 1.1%, one tenth less than in the first quarter and its slower rate of year-on-year expansion since the fourth quarter of 2013.
The EU also recorded 0.2% growth in the second quarter, three tenths less than in the first quarter. Compared with the same quarter of 2018, the year-on-year expansion of the EU slowed to 1.3%, its worst figure since the end of 2013.
Germany, on the verge of recession
And within the euro zone stands out Germany, which is on the verge of recession after registering a contraction of 0.1% of GDP in the second quarter, compared to the 0.4% growth of the first three months of 2019.
France, for its part, the second economic actor in the euro zone, saw its expansion slowed in the second quarter of 0.2%, one tenth less than in the first three months of 2019, as a result of the moderation of household consumption, while the GDP of Italy, the third largest economy in the euro, It's stalled between the months of April and June, after growing just 0.1% in the first quarter. And that without counting that UK as well 0.2% contracted.
Political crisis in Italy
The case of Italy is also one of the most worrisome, since the leader of the League Deputy Prime Minister, Matteo Salvini, has laid down the coalition government formed with the M5S and advocates for holding elections, thus opening a new focus of uncertainty. Salvini heads the electoral polls and the problem is that he has declared himself in favor of the exit of the euro and of breaching the EU budget rules, which could open a new front in the community bloc.
Finally, the Argentine economy is in a state of shock after the unexpected electoral victory that reaped the peronism in the primary of last Sunday. The Peronist Alberto Fernández, candidate of the Front of All, and who takes as second on board the former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, intends to recover the Kirchnerist legacy if she wins the presidential elections next October, which has triggered the panic in investors. The market discounts a future black for Argentina if Peronism regains power, with bankruptcy, corralito and impoverishment widespread included.
These are the main risk factors that, today, the global economy suffers, whose effects are noted, in one way or another, on the Spanish GDP. The national economy barely grew 0.5% in the second quarter, two tenths less than in the first and the least progress since 2014. But the indicators get worse at times. The last known data is the drop in industry sales, whose turnover decreased 5% in June compared to the same month of 2018, its biggest cut in three years, while the order entries of the sector fell 3.3%, according to the INE.
With the interannual data for June, the turnover of the industry returns to negative rates and marks its biggest decline since July 2016, when sales sank more than 8%. On the other hand, the orders chain two consecutive months of falls, although the one registered in June is the most pronounced since March 2018.