In China, manufacturing activity fell last month for the first time in almost a year. That’s putting more pressure on Chinese officials to do something to stimulate the economy.
Meanwhile in Europe, we learned this morning that manufacturing activity in the eurozone also fell last month, which will in turn put more pressure on the European Central Bank to do something about the ongoing crisis there. The ECB’s head, Mario Draghi, is set to lay out its plans to save the euro later this week.
Julia Coronado, chief economist with BNP Paribas, notes that while the Chinese government has already taken some steps towards stimulus, “right now, their efforts are being complicated by the fact that right now they’re in the middle of a big political transition.”
Political roadblocks are still in place here at home as well, with our upcoming election in some ways hindering Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve from putting further stimulus in place.
But Coronado thinks that the Fed will still ultimately take action prior to the election, which will “demonstrate their political independence,” she says.