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Edward Hugh  

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  • Portugal Sustains: Roots of the Problem [View article]
    Hi PZ,

    "Perhaps economic geography may be of some relevance to Portuguese case?"

    It can do, but that didn't hold Ireland back, and Portugal does have Brazil just like Ireland has the US, if only they knew how to leverage their advantage there.

    On the other hand we simply don't understand at this point the extent of the impact on economic performance of even temporary declines in population, and all research into this is still, I would say, in its very early stages. Basically I think a lot of our received ideas about growth are going to come up for serious review over the next decade or so.

    Jan 12, 2009. 02:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Portugal Sustains: Roots of the Problem [View article]
    Hello José,

    "Oliveira celebrated his 100th anniversary last December, making him the oldest director still filming."

    Yes, thanks, I know, that was a stupid typo on my part. This was the whole point of the intro really, still working at 100 etc. How stupid of me.

    He is one of my favourite directors. There is also a link with the title, since Marcello Mastroianni played Pereira in the film which he "sustains", while Mastroianni's last film was in fact Oliveira's excellent Viagem ao Princípio do Mundo. So there is kind of another hommage worked secretly in there.
    Jan 12, 2009. 02:41 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Outlook for the Indian Economy [View article]
    Hello again everyone,

    You raise some interesting points.


    "So to summarize - yes, but not yet?"

    Exactly. Just give this a little time. India has waited patiently over half a century, a couple more years isn't the end of the world.

    Hi Yank,

    "The "wild card" here is the future direction of oil prices. It is very hard for me to get behind the recent spike in the US dollar (USD) as making the case for much lower oil prices."

    I agree completely. And remember, the higher dollar means a lower euro, so even though the dollar price is down, the euro one isn't down anything like so much.

    But basically energy and food prices aren't being driven up by relative currency movements, but by long term growth dyanamics. A very important - and very populous - set of emerging market economies have just "broken loose" from the poverty to which they had been chained, and they are now growing very rapidly, at the same time as the "resource constraint" on food and energy means that the OECD countries are headed for some years of sub-par growth (aka stagflation). What this basically means is that the win-win increasing returns dynamic works as a strong tailwind for many of these emerging economies as investors can get both currency appreciation and stronger growth out of these economies and for some years to come.

    Obviously the market can eventually correct for the food and energy supply constraint, but this needs time. Simply bringing a new generation of nuclear power plants on line would seem to need between now and 2020, and the sort of horizon is going to apply to effective alternative energy passenger transport. We have land available in places like Russia and the Ukraine, but they are short of people, so unless we open up globalisation to population movements like those seen at the end of the nineteenth century - which is unlikely for political reasons I think - then you are only going to see agricultural output grow through productivity yield, and hence demand is going to be constantly testing supply here as far forward as we can see.

    Obviously as global growth slows, prices fall back - which is what we are seeing now, half of Europe is, imho, already in recession, as, probably, is Japan, and all the emerging markets are slowing.

    But then, as prices drop back, countries like Brazil, India and Turkey simply accelerate again, as so prices will once more start to rise. I guess we can envisage this yo-yo type effect for some years to come now.

    One last point. Not all emerging markets are the same. If you want to know more about what I think here you need to go round some of my country level blogs, but Russia and the CEE countries are very overstretched already, and I think the risk of a serious slowdown in China later this year is definitely non-negligible. My guess is that India will ultimately win the "great China context" hands down.

    Hi dancingdiva,

    "History looks like it is repeating itself. What makes you think the high level of growth in 2009 and 2010 can occur under since interest rates are likely to remain at a high level to curb inflation? Or was it something other than the high interest rates that had an impact on the 1997 economy?"

    Well the key point that some people inside India are making - and I am endorsing - is that there has been a structural break in trend Indian growth around 2000. So the position looking backwards and looking forwards is not symmetrical.

    There are various reasons for this structural break. One of them is almost certainly demographic - the age structure of the population moved from being a tremendous drag to being a significant advantage as the median age rose.

    But also policies inside India have changed - slowly, but they have - and globalisation is offering significant advantages in things like capital flows and the possibilities for outsourcing.

    So I think we can't really compare the inflation and growth tendencies pre- and post- 2000, and also for the sort of reasons I have just explained to yank.

    Basically due to India's huge labour force reserve supply I think the "second round" inflation effects can be much better kept under control there than in many other countries, and if the government adopts some of the efficiency related structural reforms the possibility will exist to have inflation at a much lower level, interest rates down, and growth significantly up. At any rate this is the policy challenge, and I am optimistic that it will - at least partially - be risen to, whoever forms the next government. In other words, I see India going forwards, and not backwards. This is not Argentina or Venezuela.
    Aug 11, 2008. 01:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Outlook for the Indian Economy [View article]
    Hi there,

    "Good work. Bad spelling and grammar. Takes away lot of credibility."

    Well thanks for drawing this to my attention. I freely admit I write too much, too quickly, and too badly. But these are very pressing times.

    On the other hand, are you seriously suggesting my growth forecast on India is suspect simply because I can't spell?
    Aug 9, 2008. 03:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Outlook for the Indian Economy [View article]
    Hi GPS and Andyn,

    I recognise your point about about the political process. I cannot offer myself as a political commentator I'm afraid. All I would draw attention to is the fact that your politicians are hardly worse now than they were five or six years ago, so they are really already "factored in" to the growth process.

    Also, of we look at the so called BRICs, for all the scepticism in Brazil and India, and all the undoubted corruption in Rio de Janeiro and New Delhi, I would say both countries are streets ahead of China and Russia looking forward. This is what the Economist calls the "democracy put". The two of them may wobble from time to time, but they are hardly going to either fall apart or have economic melt down, which has to be a risk in either the Chinese (melt-down) or Russian (fall apart through ethnic in-fighting) cases.

    But the big point I would stress here is my projection on the underlying growth momentum (which is due to the relative weightings I give institutions and demographics in my growth model). I would seriously suggest that most analysts are seriously underestimating the long term growth rate India can achieve without hitting capacity constraints. I think we will hit double digit growth either late 2009 or early 2010.

    Now that oil is dropping back the money is already starting to trickle back into Indian equities.

    The following, as reported in Bloomberg yesterday, is also very good news:

    <i>Brazil and India were the biggest users of offshore oil rigs in July as Petroleo Brasileiro SA drilled the Americas' biggest discovery in three decades and Reliance Industries Ltd. started developing a coastal field. Brazil deployed 29 rigs, the most in 21 years, and India, the largest user of rigs in the Asia-Pacific, ordered 28, adding two since June, Baker Hughes Inc., the world's third- biggest oilfield-services provider, said on its Web site today. The countries accounted for 18 percent of equipment used to drill in waters internationally, excluding the U.S. and Canada.</i>

    Aug 9, 2008. 03:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Italy's Economy On The Ropes (Again) [View article]
    Hi again Adan,

    "but the article brings an old question back to mind for me, why is everything always predicated on growth as the only answer?"

    It isn't the only answer. But to keep a long story short here, with aging populations and declining young cohorts, getting growth is the only way the younger generations are going to be able to meet the pension expectations of the older ones.
    Jul 6, 2008. 07:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Spanish Unemployment, Housing and Balance of Payments [View article]
    Hi Adan,

    "have you, or can you, apply this type of article (and as your very fine one on italy; haven't read the one on germany yet) to the u.s.?"

    Sorry. I'm into a lot of things, but I don't stretch to everything. There are, however, a lot of fine economists out there doing analysis. Many of them differ from one another in their conclusions, of course, but that is where you need to exercise your own judgement.

    Good Luck,

    Jul 6, 2008. 07:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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