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羅思義:見習近平之前,是什么讓特朗普“壓力山大”?

2019-06-20 19:32:00 作者: 羅思義 評論: 字體大小 T T T
中國國家主席習近平和美國總統特朗普將會在G20大阪峰會期間會晤的消息公布后,美股大幅上漲。正如英國《金融時報》一針見血地指出:“特朗普計劃同習近平會晤就美中經貿合作進行溝通,推動美國股市大幅上揚。”

羅思義:見習近平之前,是什么讓特朗普“壓力山大”?

1、  羅思義,人大重陽金融研究院高級研究員

【文/觀察者網專欄作者 羅思義】

中國國家主席習近平和美國總統特朗普將會在G20大阪峰會期間會晤的消息公布后,美股大幅上漲。正如英國《金融時報》一針見血地指出:“特朗普計劃同習近平會晤就美中經貿合作進行溝通,推動美國股市大幅上揚。”

這對特朗普來說是一個令人愉悅的喜訊,畢竟這段時間一連串壞消息讓特朗普總統“壓力山大”——連任民調數據和美國經濟數據都不理想。自然,中美元首會晤要談的方面涉及很多,談判的細節只有參與談判的人才能知道,而本文所要談的是特朗普現在客觀上面臨的壓力。

連任選戰伊始,特朗普民調出師不利

特朗普面臨的首要壓力是,此前數月直到他6月18日正式啟動競選連任以來,他的民調一直不佳。競選“官宣”的數天前,他解雇了五名競選團隊民調專家中的三人,理由是內部民調外泄,而外泄的民調內容顯示特朗普在關鍵州的民意支持率大幅落后于民主黨2020年大選參選人喬·拜登(Joe Biden)——例如,在明尼蘇達州和密歇根州,特朗普的支持率均為40%,拜登的支持率則分別為54%和53%。

特朗普競選團隊曾對17個州作內部民調,3月份的一項內部民調顯示,特朗普在威斯康星州、賓夕法尼亞州、佛羅里達州和密歇根州等搖擺不定的關鍵州以兩位數劣勢落后于拜登。而一向支持特朗普的福克斯新聞(Fox News)發布的6月9日至12日的最新民調顯示,特朗普在全國范圍內的民意支持率落后于民主黨人伯尼•桑德斯(40%VS49%)和拜登(39%VS49%)。

1、

民主黨2020參選人拜登

概括說來,宣布競選伊始,特朗普民調即落后于民主黨對手。在這種政治形勢下, 2019-2020年美國經濟前景便顯得對特朗普至關重要。

2019-2020年的美國經濟:特朗普給的數據靠譜嗎?

對于2019-2020年美國經濟前景,存在兩種截然不同的觀點。首先,特朗普政府自身,包括部分中國媒體也認為,由于美國減稅或其他原因,2019年美國經濟將加速增長——這對特朗普來說顯然是一個有利的政治消息。2019年3月,特朗普政府發布的官方預算報告預測,2019年美國GDP將增長3.2%,2020年則將增長3.1%——這均高于2018年的2.9%,也符合特朗普的說法,即美國經濟在其總統任期內每年至少增長3%。

第二種觀點,包括IMF(國際貨幣基金組織)、筆者和其他人認為,2019年美國經濟將面臨下行壓力——不是經濟衰退,而是美國經濟將增長放緩。新出爐的美國經濟數據,充分印證了后一種觀點。

包括石油和天然氣行業在內的美國工業總產出自2018年底以來停滯不前——截至5月,美國工業總產出比2018年12月水平低0.9%。同期美國制造業產出下降1.5%,下降幅度更大。2019年5月,美國制造業產出比11年前的2007年12月水平還低了4.8%。這意味著特朗普振興美國制造業的政策失敗了。

2、

就采購經理人指數(PMI)而言,美國綜合采購經理人指數從2019年4月的53.0大幅下降至5月的50.9,是自2016年5月以來私營部門擴張最為疲弱的一次。同期美國制造業采購經理人指數則從52.6跌至50.5,為2009年以來的最低水平;同期美國服務業采購經理人指數則從53跌至50.9,創39個月新低。

美國就業數據同樣呈放緩趨勢。5月份新增非農就業75000人,而4月份為224000人,前三個月平均為144000人。

西方分析師:美國可能陷入衰退

一些著名的西方和美國分析師認為,美國經濟放緩將非常嚴重,有可能陷入衰退——至少連續兩個季度負增長。比如,彭博社高級編輯和英國《金融時報》前首席評論員約翰·奧瑟斯(John Authers)6月18日在其發表的標題為《市場出現衰退不可避免》和副標題為《不僅僅是債券市場在暗示美國經濟將出現嚴重放緩》的文章中指出:

“且不提及美中貿易關系日漸惡化,我們能預測未來的市場嗎?答案是肯定的。債券市場的動向仿佛是在為某種可能發生的可怕的事做準備,交易員們確實在為此而恐懼。

最新的證據是紐約聯邦儲備銀行周一出爐的紐約帝國州制造業指數。數據可謂異常糟糕,創上一次衰退以來最大月跌幅……如果不是預示一場真正的衰退即將來臨,它一般在低位徘徊如此之久。

通常被視為制造業領先指標的美國卡車運輸業的狀況看起來也好不到哪里去。這是FTR貨運狀況指數……它綜合衡量了關于卡車運輸需求的幾個不同因素。低于零的數據顯示了經濟存在萎縮的風險。

工業金屬價格也成為了另一個有力的市場衰退指標。彭博工業金屬分類指數(Bloomberg Industrial Metals Subindex)顯示,特朗普政府執政第一年對經濟增長的樂觀情緒已經消散。

此外,以美股為例,即便整體市場繼續表現強勁,但我們依然能看到過往衰退前常見的一些跡象……除非投資者持悲觀態度,否則他們一般不會大規模買入公用事業股。盡管債券市場有一些技術因素推動了當前的通縮恐慌,但似乎確實有許多因素正指向經濟放緩!”

美國經濟不會陷入衰退,但會從峰值回歸低谷

筆者分析認為,認為美國經濟今年將陷入衰退的觀點有所夸張了,具體原因在我的新書《別誤讀中國經濟》中有詳細的分析。

3、

羅思義新作《別誤讀中國經濟》

2018年美國GDP同比增長2.9%,處于經濟周期上行峰值。預計美國經濟增速在一年內從經濟周期的峰值降至衰退期的數值——接近2008年國際金融危機規模的情況不會發生。也尚沒有跡象表明,2019年美國將再次發生自大蕭條以來的更大的金融危機的可能。

相反,2019年美國經濟將只是放緩,而非衰退。據IMF預測,美國GDP增速將從2018年的2.9%降至2019年的2.3%,而筆者預測的美國GDP增速則比IMF的稍高一點,但IMF的預測不是毫無道理。美國經濟趨勢表明,特朗普政府所宣稱的“美國經濟將增長加速”的說法是錯誤的。

相反,2019年美國經濟增長將有所放緩,2020年美國經濟增速甚至將慢于2019年。這對特朗普來說是一個嚴重的問題,因為2020年是選舉年。

顯然,中美元首即將在G20大阪峰會期間會晤的消息出爐當天,種種跡象表明,特朗普政府對美國經濟狀況感到嚴重關切。據彭博社透露,特朗普政府曾考慮是否有可能走法律程序解雇自己任命的美聯儲主席杰羅姆·鮑威爾(Jerome Powell)——后者是于2018年2月就職,這種行為是前所未有的。這顯然預示著,特朗普政府對美國經濟面臨的下行壓力非常擔憂。

4、

在即將到來的G20峰會上,習近平將與特朗普會晤

雖然我們沒有必要夸大其辭,畢竟現在距離美國總統大選尚有17個月時間,這意味著特朗普尚有余地扭轉民調不利的局面。雖然一些美國分析師預測2019年美國經濟將陷入衰退,但如上文所述,2019年美國經濟將只經歷放緩,而非衰退——不過,如果2019年美國經濟增長放緩太過明顯,2020年出現衰退也不是不可能——但這顯然對特朗普來說是極為不利的。即使不出現真正的經濟衰退,民調和美國經濟數據均走低,顯然也會給特朗普政府帶來明顯的壓力。

盡管美國經濟形勢不是唯一的因素,但這顯然是G20大阪峰會中美元首會晤的背景之一。

作者注:本文是在習近平應約與特朗普通電話,從而達成兩者在G20大阪峰會會晤的協定之前完成。形勢的發展印證了文中的分析。

本文英文原文:

Bad polls & bad economic data put pressure on Trump US 

share markets rose sharply on news of the announcement that Presidents Xi and Trump would meet at the G20 summit – as the Financial Times simply summarised it ‘Trump plan to meet Xi on trade sends US equities sharply higher’. This was a welcome piece of goods news for President Trump after a period during which he had been receiving bad news both on the opinion polls for his re-election and for the US economy. Naturally there are many aspects of the planned meeting that only those involved in the negotiations will know, but it is worth noting the objective pressures which are now bearing down on Trump.

Negative polls for Trump at the beginning of the Presidential election campaign

The first, and probably most important pressure on President Trump, was that opinion polls leading to the official launch of his re-election campaign on 18 June had been unfavourable for several months. Days before his official relaunch event his campaign dismissed three of his five polling advisers after leaks of internal polling showed the president had been trailing former Democrat Joe Biden in key states which would decide the outcome of the 2020 election – for example in Minnesota Trump trailed Biden 40% to 54% and in Michigan by 40% to 53%. Analysing 17 states, polling taken in March showed Trump trailing Biden by double digits in key swing states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan. More recent polls on 9-12 June, released by Fox News, a strongly pro-Trump TV channel, showed Trump nationally trailing nine percent behind Democrat Bernie Sanders (40% to 49%) and ten percent behind Biden (39% to 49%).

In summary as the Presidential election campaign was launched Trump was trailing badly behind Democratic rivals. In that political situation, evidently, the prospects for the US economy in 2019-2020 were crucial for Trump.

Prospects for the US economy in 2019-2020

Regarding these economic prospects for the US in 2019-2020 two substantially different perspectives for the US economy in 2019-20 had been put forward. The first, that of the Trump administration itself, echoed by some media in China, argued that due to the US tax cuts, or other reasons, the US economy would speed up in 2019 – which would evidently be good political news for Trump. In March 2019, in its official budget forecasts, the Trump administration projected 3.2% GDP growth in 2019 and 3.1% in 2020 – both faster than the 2.9% in 2018 and in line with President Trump’s claim that the US economy would grow at least 3% a year during his presidency.

The second perspective, held by the IMF, the present author, and others, was that the US economy would experience downward pressure in 2019 – not that there would be a recession but that the US economy would slow. The most recent US economic data has clearly confirmed this latter perspective.

US total industrial production, including the oil and gas sector, had stalled since the end of 2018 – by May US total industrial production was 0.9% lower than in December 2018. The decline in US manufacturing production, 1.5% in the same period, was sharper. In May 2019 US manufacturing production was still 4.8% lower than its level more than 11 years previously in December 2007 - the Trump policy to attempt to strongly revive US manufacturing production had been a failure.

In terms of Purchasing Managers Indexes (PMI), the US Composite PMI stood at 50.9 in May 2019 sharply down from 53.0 in April and the weakest expansion in the private sector since May 2016. The US manufacturing PMI in the same month fell to its lowest level since 2009 – a manufacturing PMI of 50.5 vs 52.6 in April, while the services PMI slowed to a 39-month low – at 50.9 at vs 53 in April.

US jobs data showed the same slowing trend. In May the US added only 75,000 non-farm payroll jobs compared to 224,000 in April and an average 144,000 in the three previous months.

Analysts who believe there will be a recession

Some important Western and US analysts believed that this slowing was so severe it indicated the US would enter a recession – that is at least two quarters of negative growth. For example, John Authers, Senior Bloomberg Editor for Markets and former Chief Markets Commentator for the Financial Times, made the following analysis on 18 June under the self-explanatory headline ‘Markets Are Acting Like a Recession Is Unavoidable’ with the subheading ‘It’s not just the bond market that’s signalling a severe economic slowdown.’

‘Would it be possible to explain what is going on in markets without making reference to the deteriorating U.S.-China trade relations? I am beginning to suspect that it would. Bond markets may be behaving as though they are bracing for something terrible to happen because traders are, indeed, scared that something terrible is going to happen.

‘Exhibit A is the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Empire State Manufacturing Index that was released Monday. It was terrible, showing the biggest monthly decline since the last recession…  it doesn’t drop this low for long without presaging a true recession to come.

‘Conditions for the U.S. trucking industry, often regarded as a leading indicator for manufacturing, look no better…. the FTR Trucking Conditions Index… combines several different factors about demand for trucking. Figures below zero show a risk of contraction.

‘Industrial metals provide another strong market-based recession indicator. The Bloomberg Industrial Metals Subindex suggests that the optimism on growth that accompanied the first year of the Trump administration has dissipated.

Industrial Metals Subindex

‘Looking at the U.S. stock market, we see the type of relative performance that would be expected in the run-up to a recession, even if the overall market continues to show robust performance…  Investors tend not to buy utilities on the scale that we have seen lately unless they are pessimistic. There are technical factors in the bond market that have driven the current deflation scare, but there do appear to be a number of factors pointing toward an economic slowdown.’

A slowdown not a recession

The analysis of the present author is that the view that the US economy will move into recession this year are exaggerated, for reasons which are analysed at length in my book ‘Don’t Misunderstand China’s Economy’.

US growth in 2018 was 2.9% - at the peak of the upswing of a business cycle. It would be an extraordinarily sharp decline, approaching the scale of the international financial crisis of 2008, for the US to fall from the peak of a business cycle to a recession in a single year. Conditions for such a repeat of the greatest financial crisis for 80 years, since the Great Depression, are not indicated at present. Instead a slowdown of the US economy, not an actual recession, will occur in 2019. The IMF itself projects a fall in US growth from 2.9% in 2018 to 2.3% in 2019 – I would estimate that growth could be slightly higher, but the IMF figure is not unreasonable. But what such a trend indicates is that the Trump administration’s claims that US growth would accelerate are false. Instead growthin 2019 would fall. And growth in 2020 would be lower than in 2019 – a serious issue for Trump as 2020 is an election year.

Certainly, information which leaked on the same day that the Xi Jinping – Trump summit was announced indicated clearly the Trump administration felt seriously concerned about the state of the US economy. It was leaked to Bloomberg that, in an unprecedented move, the Trump administration had explored if it was possible legally to dismiss their own appointed Chair of the US Federal Reserve Jerome Powell – who had only take up office in February 2018.  This was immediately understood to indicate that the Trump administration feared the downward pressure on the US economy.

It is important not to exaggerate. It is still 17 months to the US presidential election. This means the bad polling numbers for Trump can still be overcome – but they are clearly a negative for him. While some US analysts project a recession in 2019, for the reasons given here it is much more likely that the US economy will slow in 2019 rather than a recession occur – although if the economy slows significantly in 2019 a recession in 2020 is entirely not impossible, which would clearly be ultra- negative for Trump. But even without an actual recession what this combination of bad polling numbers and economic deceleration does produce is clearly pressure on the Trump administration.

This is not the only factor in the situation, but it is clearly part of the background to the Xi-Trump summit at the G20.

This article was finished before it was made public that the US side requested the phone call with China which led to agreement on the Xi Jinping-Trump summit. This information is in line with the analysis in the article.1111MicrosoftInternetExplorer402DocumentNotSpecified7.8 磅Normal0

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