Manu writes regularly for The Edge Singapore where these blogs first appeared.
The cyclical uplift in the global economy is set to continue, generating ever growing trade flows which will boost Asian economies. That’s good news for economic growth in the near term. But, what matters for Asia’s long term economic development is foreign direct investment (FDI) which can build the foundations of future growth through skills development, technology transfer, provision of financial capital.
The unveiling of the Budget for 2018 has triggered a healthy debate on how the likely pressures for more government social spending in Singapore should be funded. The government has proposed a two-percentage point rise in the goods and services tax (GST) sometime after 2021, believing that this would be the best option out of the alternatives available.
Sharp corrections in the prices of equities, bonds and commodities dominated the headlines recently as the exuberance of financial markets in the past few months gave way to volatility and uncertainty. Some argue that this is just one of those healthy market corrections which eventually pave the way for another round of upward moves.
US President Trump used his State of the Union speech to reiterate his hard-line views on trade, vowing that the “era of economic surrender is over” and that his administration would “fix bad trade deals”. Only days before the speech, his administration had imposed tariffs on solar panels and washing machines which directly hurt Chinese and South Korean…
Even as equity markets across the world soar to new heights, the bond market has been sending a less exuberant signal. Yields on US 10-year treasuries, a major benchmark rate used in financial markets, have risen to just above 2.5%, almost twice the yield when they reached a trough in the middle of 2016.