Emerging Markets:  Secular stagnation in key countries

Emerging Markets: Secular stagnation in key countries

January 16 2020

Manufacturing activity in Emerging Markets (EM) remained in contraction mode for the eighth month in a row. The December aggregate PMI came in at 49.7 points, with 48.7 for the sub-index of open economies (16th consecutive month below the 50.0 mark indicating output decrease: the longest contraction period ever for open economies) signaling how deep trade policy concerns are. At the same time, more closed EM, which include larger economies such as India, Brazil and Russia, also exhibited a weak index (49.8). More importantly, these economies also experienced an average PMI of just 50.1 since the 2013 Fed tapering, qualifying these countries for a secular stagnation hypothesis or, in other terms, a middle income trap. Their development is going on slowly and with a limited growth in the manufacturing sector. Moreover, the rebalancing they had to implement to cope with the Fed tapering shock has scarcened growth drivers. In our view, growth is not likely to recover to pre-tapering levels in the next years.

Senior Economist for France and Africa