Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Beijing’s new leaders are right to hold back - By Michael Pettis

The graph makes it pretty clear that the surge in European surpluses, which was largely matched before the crisis by the surge in deficits in peripheral Europe, is expected to be maintained even as surpluses in China and Japan, the other leading surplus nations, have dropped dramatically, but since these northern European surpluses can no longer be counterbalanced by deficits within peripheral Europe given how indebted and troubled are their European trade partners, the hope is simply to force them abroad. In a world with weak demand and deteriorating trade relationships, in other words, the northern Europeans have decided that rather than boost domestic demand they will resolve their domestic problems by absorbing far more than their share of global demand, to the tune of 2-3% of Europe’s GDP.