29 February 2020

Alex Wolf

Senior Emerging Markets Economist, Aberdeen Standard Investments
  • Unlike broader foreign policy which can be influenced and shaped by Congress and civil servants, on trade policy it is what Donald Trump wants that seems to matter. Photo: Reuters

    Trade conflicts – One round… or many?

    - Jul 5, 2018 4:48pm
    We continue to go in circles on trade policy. Following the initial 301 tariff threat, ZTE sanctions, and a reported ‘truce’, tariffs are again back on the table. And not just any tariffs, US$450 billion worth...
  • If oil prices rise on the back of reduced Iranian supply, greater economic differentiation is expected across emerging markets. Photo: Reuters

    How might US sanctions on Iran impact oil prices?

    - May 17, 2018 10:10am
    How might US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), impact oil prices? And if prices go higher, how could emerging...
  • The Chinese defense industry has been under a Western arms embargo since 1989.  Despite this, China has actually emerged as a leader in defense technology. Photo: Reuters

    ZTE, arms embargo and technology

    - Apr 30, 2018 9:44am
    At the risk of hyperbole, the US embargo on ZTE may turn out to be a highly consequential turning point in US-China relations and Chinese industrial policy. Irrespective of the fact that ZTE was guilty of...
  • Household consumption as a share of GDP fell in 2017 after consistently rising for six years. Photo: Reuters

    Is China’s economy really rebalancing?

    - Apr 20, 2018 4:04pm
    Amid the media attention to a potential trade war, a new debate is emerging over whether China’s economy is finally rebalancing. Some commentators have proclaimed that the Chinese economy is rebalancing at last. We, however, would...
  • Chinese Finance Minister Liu Kun spent most of his career as a local government fiscal official. Photo: Reuters

    Rising chance of fiscal reform in China

    - Apr 4, 2018 4:17pm
    The National People’s Congress concluded last month and among the many historic changes, it’s the minor changes that might end up being more impactful for investors. Despite significant airtime given to proposed efforts around financial de-risking,...
  • In his Work Report, Premier Li Keqiang signaled less policy support by lowering the fiscal deficit target to 2.6 percent from 3 percent in 2017. Photo: Bloomberg

    China: Tighter policy and stable growth?

    - Mar 9, 2018 3:42pm
    China kicked off its annual liang hui this week, the twin meetings of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the National People’s Congress that aim to set policy priorities over the coming year. Given the momentous...
  • If the Federal Reserve moves faster than expected the risk exists that it could trigger a reversal of risk sentiment and cause a broad strengthening of the US dollar. Photo: Reuters

    Politics and trade to shape emerging markets in 2018

    - Jan 25, 2018 1:53pm
    While we are broadly optimistic about the outlook for emerging market (EM) economies – commodity prices have improved, policy is still accommodative, Chinese growth is stable, and developed market (DM) demand appears to be improving –...
  • Last year’s policy mix of credit/fiscal stimulus combined with supply-side constraints effectively eliminated the threat of deflation and lifted China’s all-important housing sector.

    Emerging markets review: Differentiation but few surprises

    - Dec 12, 2017 12:26pm
    Emerging markets in 2017 were marked by relatively fewer surprises compared with recent years. The global upturn in trade and production lifted growth beyond last year’s expectations, but emerging markets were largely in line with the broader,...
  • The language during the 19th Party Congress suggests that China will become more assertive on the world stage and Beijing will push its unique model of political economy. Photo: Reuters

    How policy shifts will impact China’s economy

    - Oct 31, 2017 10:41am
    China’s 19th Party Congress has concluded with Xi Jinping cementing his role as China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong. There is no need to restate how powerful Xi is; he is only the third leader...