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Challenges persist for emerging economies

Reuters/London/Bengaluru
Filed on November 9, 2015 | Last updated on November 9, 2015 at 06.25 am
Challenges persist for emerging economies
Job seekers speak with a recruiter during a career fair at San Francisco State University in California. US unemployment rate fell to five per cent in October.

(Bloomberg)

Dollar strength also has wreaked havoc on emerging markets, sending freely floating currencies plummeting

A cloud of pessimism may have burned off for many investors on a bright October US jobs report, but much of the global economy - including China, which not long ago was a top worry for the US Federal Reserve - remains vulnerable.

The US jobs report not only revealed more hiring than even the most optimistic of 101 forecasters polled by Reuters, but the unemployment rate fell to five per cent and average pay growth accelerated to a solid 2.5 per cent annual pace. That pushed the dollar sharply higher against the euro on optimism the US economy may be stirring out of a fitful, uneven expansion into something more vigorous.

Such optimism has its consequences, mainly a stronger US dollar, which itself has kept a lid on growth, particularly among manufacturers who are more vulnerable to rising prices on a competitive international market.

That dollar strength also has wreaked havoc on emerging markets, sending freely floating currencies plummeting, and even forcing China to modestly devalue the yuan.

"While the Chinese slowdown is going to take the edge off some of the growth figures in the major industrialised nations, so long as it's not an outright collapse, the growth picture remains intact - that is to say, modest," said Peter Dixon, global financial economist at Commerzbank.

Investment is forecast to have weakened to the lowest in many years in October with a cooling in bank lending. Inflation is expected to slow to just 1.5 per cent.

"Commodity producers are also suffering from the China effect. The likes of Brazil for example, which endured a particularly tough 2015, is going to continue to suffer throughout the early part of 2016," he said.

Growth data for the eurozone due on Friday are expected to be decent, but not spectacular. Economists polled by Reuters expected quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.4 per cent for the July to September period, steady on the prior quarter.

But growth in Germany probably slowed to 0.3 per cent last quarter from 0.4 per cent in April to June. It is far from clear whether that momentum can be sustained in the current quarter. - Reuters


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