特朗普呼吁美联储助力贸易战

英国《金融时报》 萨姆•弗莱明 华盛顿报道
2019.05.15 12:00

唐纳德•特朗普(Donald Trump)呼吁美联储(Federal Reserve)帮助打赢对华贸易战,称只要美国央行出台与北京方面相当的刺激措施,美国必然胜利。

“中国将向他们的体系注入资金,并且很可能像往常一样降低利率,以弥补他们正在——以及将要——失去的生意,”美国总统周二在一条推文中表示。“如果美联储搞一次‘匹配’,那将会结束游戏,我们赢定了!无论如何,中国想要达成协议!”

周二晚对记者们发表讲话时,特朗普称美国经济“在每一项衡量指标上”都表现不错,并将美中在贸易上的争斗形容为“一点点争吵”。他辩称,美中紧张源于北京方面对美国的不公平对待,他预计最终结局将会非常好。“我们处于非常强有力的地位,”美国总统表示。

特朗普再度施压美联储主席杰伊•鲍威尔(Jay Powell)、要求其降低短期利率之际,随着美中之间的贸易敌对行动升级,世界股市出现一波震荡行情。

周一,北京方面宣布将对近600亿美元美国输华商品加征关税,称这是为了回应特朗普政府上周五的举动,即把针对2000亿美元中国输美商品的关税提高至25%。

美国已启动进一步的计划,准备对另外3000亿美元中国输美商品加征25%的关税,尽管尚未对这些措施做出最终决定,而且它们只会在截至6月中旬的公众评论期过后生效。

在前几天遭遇下跌后,美欧股市周二反弹。在华尔街,周一下跌2.4%(自1月以来的最大跌幅)的标普500指数(S&P 500)周二截至午盘反弹1.3%。

特朗普经常要求美联储降息以抵消增长风险,但就目前而言,美国央行发出的信号是利率将保持不变。然而,随着贸易风险使增长前景变暗,一些投资者押注于今年晚些时候情况会发生变化,他们预计今年下半年有较大几率降息。

对于下一次利率调整的方向,美联储迄今发出混合信号,而额外的总统压力很可能会使央行的斟酌更加棘手。美联储在3月做出的最新预测似乎表明,利率至少会在今年剩余时间保持不变,但考虑到通胀较低,一些政策制定者暗示了为保险起见降息一次的想法。鲍威尔本月淡化了通胀疲弱的评估,称这是“暂时性的”,并强调没有必要立即提高或降低利率。

贸易敌对行动升级可能会重新点燃美联储政策制定者关注一年多的下行风险之一,加强鸽派对于应该降息的观点。但更高的关税应该会暂时推高通胀,这可能会缓解央行对物价涨幅过低的担忧。

“与市场一样,美联储并不认为贸易紧张对美国经济特别危险,因此降息的一个重要催化剂不存在,”Cornerstone Macro经济学家罗伯托•佩里(Roberto Perli)周二在一份简报中表示。

“就目前而言,最好的赌注仍是美联储将继续按兵不动——直到美国经济显著恶化或通胀太低成为共识。这两个条件似乎都不会很快得到满足。”

译者/和风

以下为此文英文原文:Trump calls on Fed to help win the trade war

By Sam Fleming in Washington

Donald Trump called on the Federal Reserve to help win the trade war with China, saying victory would be inevitable if the US central bank matched stimulus moves in Beijing.

“China will be pumping money into their system and probably reducing interest rates, as always, in order to make up for the business they are, and will be, losing,” the US president said in a tweet on Tuesday. “If the Federal Reserve ever did a ‘match’, it would be game over, we win! In any event, China wants a deal!” 

Speaking to reporters later on Tuesday, Mr Trump said the US economy was doing well “by every measure” and described the tussle with China over trade as “a little squabble”. Tensions with Beijing stemmed from its unfair treatment of the US, he argued, predicting the situation would turn out extremely well. “We’re in a very strong position,” said the president.

Mr Trump’s renewed pressure on Fed chair Jay Powell to lower short-term interest rates came amid a period of volatility on world stock markets as hostilities over trade escalate between the US and China.

On Monday Beijing announced it would raise tariffs on $60bn of US goods, saying it was responding to the Trump administration’s move on Friday to boost tariffs on $200bn of Chinese imports to 25 per cent. 

The US has set in motion a further plan to impose levies of 25 per cent on a further $300bn of Chinese imports, though no final decision has been made on these and they would only bite after a comment period running into late June. 

Shares in the US and Europe bounced on Tuesday following earlier losses. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 index was up 1.3 per cent in midday trading after a 2.4 per cent loss on Monday — its worst since January.

Mr Trump has regularly demanded the Fed slash interest rates to counter risks to growth, but for the time being, the US central bank is signalling rates will be kept on hold. Some investors are betting that situation will change later this year as trade risks dampen the growth outlook, however, foreseeing a significant chance of a reduction in the second half of the year. 

The Fed has sent mixed signals over its next rates move, and added presidential pressure will probably make deliberations more fraught. Its most recent forecasts in March suggested interest rates will be kept on hold for at least the remainder of the year, but some policymakers have hinted at the idea of an insurance rate cut given low inflation. This month Mr Powell played down weak inflation, suggesting it is “transitory” and stressing there was no immediate need to move rates higher or lower. 

The escalation of trade hostilities could revive one of the so-called downside risks that Fed policymakers have been watching for more than a year, adding to arguments from doves that a rate reduction is in order. But higher tariffs should temporarily push up inflation, which could alleviate some of the central bank’s worries that price growth is too low. 

“Like the market, the Fed doesn’t see the US economy as being particularly at risk because of trade tensions, so one important catalyst for a rate cut is just not there,” said Roberto Perli, an economist at Cornerstone Macro, in a note on Tuesday. 

“For now, the best bet remains that the Fed will stay on hold until either the US economy deteriorates significantly or until an agreement is reached that inflation is too low. Neither of those conditions seem very close in time.”


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