In a few hours, pessimistic data unleashes almost all alarms. China lowers its growth forecast for this year to 6% / 6.5%, the worst in three decades. And their exports in February fell by 16.6%, as they capotan their trade with the US. These do not fare much better in its external aspect. Two years of Trump's commercial wars have not helped.
Its trade deficit not only has not been reduced, but has increased by 12.5% in 2018 and by 23% since the populist era was inaugurated. So wars will harm their rivals, but above all to those who unleash them, as we know since the Great Depression of 1929.
And although in the domestic sphere the tax doping continues to have effects (the US unemployment rate fell to 3.8%), it is declining: the pace of job creation has been the worst since the fall of 2017.
As it was discounted, the great pagan of the world's asthenia is the most open economy: the European one. The reductions of the IMF and the Commission at the beginning of the year now add the worst ones in the OECD and the ECB: the GDP of the eurozone would grow in 2019, only around 1%, compared to 1.8% or 1.9% that projected towards the end of 2018.
We have not yet recorded a recessionary scenario – negative PIB for two quarters – but rather accentuated deceleration, relative stagnation, tendency to japonization of Europe. The problem of any deceleration is that its borders with the recession are usually tenuous, easily transferable and very sensitive to moods, animal spirits of markets and citizens.
Faced with this scene, which is slowly but inexorably sharpening, the ECB has fulfilled its duty. It has just postponed, at least until the end of the year, the rise in the interest rates of the euro; and announced new liquidity auctions that nurture the lending capacity of the bank.
The trend is similar to that of the Fed and other central banks. The novelty is that it does not seem to attract the habitual inquina of the hawks. It is seen that they lack an alternative: does anyone doubt that a rapid return to rigidity would accelerate the recession?
The problem is whether the announced measures will be sufficient. Already voices are calling for more income expansionism: as the one that should cause the wage increase in Germany, of 8.8% in the next three years. Or a stimulus to the demand via a greater activism of the European Investment Bank, leveraged in the purchase of a strong issuance of its debt by the ECB. The meninges will have to be squeezed again.