【英语财经】FT社评:新兴市场复苏基础脆弱 Leader_Fragile recovery in emerging markets

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2016-5-16 19:53

小艾摘要: An air of slightly uneasy calm hangs over the economies of emerging markets. EM asset prices — and currencies for the most part — have continued to rise in recent weeks after recovering from the tur ...
Leader_Fragile recovery in emerging markets
An air of slightly uneasy calm hangs over the economies of emerging markets. EM asset prices — and currencies for the most part — have continued to rise in recent weeks after recovering from the turmoil at the beginning of the year. Last week, the Institute of International Finance said that the recovery in emerging economies had continued into the second quarter, the estimated 3.4 per cent annualised growth in April being 0.4 percentage points above its 12-month moving average.

But it would be a foolhardy investor who infers that everything in the EM world is fine. Too much of the recovery seems to be owed to volatile factors, notably a rise in commodity prices and a debt-fuelled expansion in the first quarter in China, which could easily be reversed. The fact that the rally over the past couple of months has even swept up currencies like the Brazilian real and the Turkish lira, beset by political uncertainties and a creaking economic model, suggests that they have more to do with a short-term bounce than improvement in fundamentals.

If the commodity recovery has run its course — and the recent sharp falls in iron ore prices are a sign that demand for raw materials remains uncertain — the supportive environment may soon dissipate. And while the dimming prospect of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates in the near term has also boosted EM asset prices, expectations of rate hikes are now so low that the potential boost has also probably largely been used up.

Signs of serious structural reform in emerging markets remain rare. Nigeria, to its credit, has taken advantage of lower oil prices to lift its price cap on imported fuel. But that was an emergency response to a balance of payments crisis that has seen the currency plummet rather than a determined and principled effort to wean Nigerian consumers off heavily subsidised energy.

In India, prime minister Narendra Modi made a good start with fuel subsidies reform but has yet to make much headway increasing investment, particularly in infrastructure, and tackling corruption. Mexican president Enrique Pe?a Nieto achieved some early results but has encountered increasing opposition, in particular to education reform.

Events of recent months have gone some way to recreating the benign external environment for emerging markets in the five years following the global financial crisis — supportive commodity prices and the prospect of low interest rates in the US and other major developed markets for a time to come. But as investors and governments discovered, the removal of those props, or the prospect of their diminishing, can lead to a marked slowing of economic growth and periodic turmoil in asset markets. The worst thing emerging markets could do is to repeat the complacency of the boom years and treat good luck as their due.

新兴市场的经济领域笼罩着平静的气氛,但其中又隐含着一丝不安。新兴市场资产价格摆脱年初的动荡出现回升后,在近几周里继续上扬;各国的货币在大部分时间里也延续涨势。国际金融协会(IIF)上周表示,第二季度新兴经济体继续复苏,4月份的年化增长率约为3.4%,较12个月移动平均值高出0.4个百分点。

但是,投资者若就此断定新兴市场一切安好就不明智了。在很大程度上,复苏似乎可以归因为变动性因素所致,主要是大宗商品价格上升,以及第一季度中国经济在债务驱动下出现扩张,后一个趋势很容易逆转。近两个月里的反弹走势甚至涵盖巴西雷亚尔和土耳其里拉等货币,这两种货币都受政治不确定性和有缺陷的经济模式的困扰——这个事实表明,本轮上涨更多与短期回升有关,而不是基本面改善所致。

如果大宗商品复苏势头结束——而且近期铁矿石价格骤跌表明原材料需求仍不明朗——有利环境或许会很快消失。美联储(Fed)在近期加息的可能性不断降低,也提振了新兴市场资产价格,但是鉴于加息预期已是如此之低,潜在的提振效果也很可能已耗尽了。

新兴市场还看不到多少认真执行结构性改革的迹象。值得赞赏的是,尼日利亚已利用油价降低的时机,取消了进口燃料价格上限。但那是针对国际收支危机——导致该国货币暴跌——的紧急对策,而不是旨在让尼日利亚消费者戒掉高额补贴能源的一种坚定、原则性的努力。

在印度,纳伦德拉?莫迪(Narendra Modi)的燃油补贴改革开了一个好头,但他在增加投资(尤其是基建投资)和惩治腐败方面并未取得多大进展。墨西哥总统恩里克?佩尼亚?涅托(Enrique Pe?a Nieto)取得了一些初步成果,但遇到了越来越大的抵制,尤其是在教育改革方面。

近几个月的形势发展,已在一定程度上为新兴市场重现了全球金融危机之后五年里的那种良性外部环境,即有利的大宗商品价格,以及美国及其他主要发达市场将在一段时间里实行低利率的前景。但投资者和政府发现,一旦移除这些支撑因素、或者如果这些因素逐渐消失,可能会导致新兴市场经济增长大幅放缓、资产市场出现周期性动荡。对新兴市场而言,最糟糕的是重新生出繁荣年代那种自满的心态,把好运气视为理所当然。

译者/何黎

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