U.S. recession signal is rattling amid trade tensions intensification
CGTN Global Business
The ongoing trade war between China and the U.S. has impacted a wide range of businesses but also has directly hurt both countries' economies. Central banks around the globe have to lower borrowing rates at unprecedented levels, especially the U.S., the biggest economy in the world, has cut interest rates for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis.
The so called recession indicators are flashing from the inverted treasury yield curve amid falling interest rates in the broader U.S. bond market. Normally, the yields are higher on bonds with longer maturity dates. But if the investors see too many uncertainties that could hinder near-term growth, they might start selling short-term bills, that's when the yields on short-term U.S. treasuries would go up on weakening demand, to eventually top that of long-term treasuries.
World Government Bonds latest data showed that the yield inversion is happening with two-year versus one-year maturities, as well as five-year versus two-year maturities. Historically, this inversion has coincided with the start of recessions, including the one in 2008.
The U.S. GDP is also slowing. The economy expanded by two percent in the second quarter, that's the slowest pace since the fourth quarter of last year and down from three percent in the first quarter of this year.
Meanwhile, corporate earnings and factory activity are also looking to ease further. Analysts with data firm Fact Set estimated the S&P 500 earnings growth for the year would be at around 7.6 percent. That number was now adjusted to around 2.3 percent.
Strategists at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup also reduced 2019 earnings estimates for the S&P 500, citing a sluggish economy, trade war threats, and potential currency devaluations. While China and the U.S. have agreed to resume talks amid intensified uncertainties, whether the world's economy will be able to rebound in the near future is still a big question.