Asian CBs to Address Financial Risks as Fed Rate Normalisations Acts as Cover

In their Asia preview for the first half of 2018, PantheonMacro argues that the major Asian central banks each see building financial imbalances which they wish to correct through interest rate adjustments. Ongoing Fed policy normalisation will provide the cover and additional impetus to make these moves. In Japan, the BoJ is eager to make adjustments to its yield curve targets, and so the potential for a taper tantrum is real, writes Freya Beamish, Pantheon’s Asian chief economist. Meanwhile in China, Chinese GDP growth likely will slow sharply in 2018 to below 4%, in reality, from 6.4% in 2017, as the economy is exposed to Fed rate hikes. Beamish sees a strong possibility that the authorities stop announcing GDP targets. But the official figures will print significantly above the truth, at about 6.4% in 2018, down from their forecast of 6.8% this year, the report says.