Emerging Markets to Drive Global Economy: King
Associate Editor, CNBC
Despite a manufacturing slowdown in Russia, China and Brazil, emerging markets will be key to the recovery of the global economy, Stephen King, chief economist at HSBC told CNBC.
"The longer term story is all about the connection between the emerging market countries and those trade flows beginning to expand from a very low base. These are going to transform emerging nations in the years ahead and even though the US and Europe are quite weak emerging markets will drive global activity in the next few years," he said.
King told CNBC that he expected these emerging countries to remain magnets for global capital, in particular for Asian investment in Latin America and Africa set to continue.
While emerging markets have been insulated from the harshest aspects of the financial crisis and subsequent recession, the prolonged economic weakness has begun to impact on the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries and the pace of activity in these countries has faded.
"The good news is that inflationary pressures have fallen back quite significantly partly because of these quantitative tightening policies that we've had," he added.
Rising inflation has been a problem in emerging economies with both India and China having raised interest rates in the last few weeks.
The HSBC Emerging Markets Index, which guages the economic performance of emerging markets, eased to 54.2 in the second quarter of 2011 as the fragile global economy and its 'soft patch' reached even these most resilient of markets.
This was the weakest level in two years as the extraordinary events of the Japanese tsunami and continued weakness in the developed economies took their toll.
Weaker manufacturing also impacted on overall activity growth in emerging markets, with the pace of expansion easing to the slowest in three quarters.
There were reductions in new export orders in Brazil, Russia and China with India reporting the slowest pace of growth for one and a half years. Despite this India offered a glimmer of hope by recording the fastest rate of growth of all emerging market service sectors monitored by the index.
Despite problems existing in the emerging markets - propelled by a growing population and expanding consumer base - they remain a stark contrast to the developed nations in the depths of austerity measures.
"In China there are concerns about the property market and if that pops but it has popped elsewhere and not been a huge crisis, secondly China is becoming bigger and bigger and becoming more successful and the question is how does the rest of the world make room for this? The West faced with continuing stagnation and austerity is a much more protectionist environment as we've seen so far but China needs the west to be open for business," he said.