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The tradewars between the US, China and the EU are escalating in all frontiers. The world economies are already suffering of the lack of confidence and stability. It really needs a crystal ball to see behind the unexpected and C-level executives are trying to navigate in the day-to-day  ever changing economic environment. It is clear that the tradewars  and sanctions will be one of the top questions in the #Helsinki2018 meeting with presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

The world economy is mixed up. The discussion in the NATO meeting in Brussels this week also showed the power of the US. The defence budget of 2 procent of the NATO-country´s GDP is one of the questions but also the questions of next investments and taxes. Which country will be the next growth country to invite international investments and money? And what will happen to institutions, are they ready to renew their way to operate and engage? It seems clear that Nato in not the only one, there might also be the UN and for example IMF and World Bank in the financial markets.

It is no wonder that the space will be the next generation growth area. At the moment there are no internationally and generally accepted laws and rules how to proceed with the new technology and investments. It offers taxfree for everybody who could have the access to ride to the moon. And that is why it is important for countries to have as much co-operation and network as possible in order to be along in the process. Like for Finland, which is a small, but quite innovative country, to be part of the technology development.

The number two is also important for the European Central Bank (ECB). This is the inflation target of the EU area. The bank´s monetary policy says that the main target for the central bank is to keep price stability and the inflation below, but close the 2 % over the medium term. This is the mechanism how the EU area will have growth and jobs, but also how to keep the value of euro.

One can say that this is also the same what president Donald Trump is doing with “corporate America and America first”. And so far it seems working – the earnings of listed companies have risen by 22 % compared to year ago and investments are up 19 procent. The relaxation of banking rules and corporate taxes have fueled the economy.

The new inflation numbers from the US show the trend – inflation is on rise and it has strengthen the dollar.  The figure 2,9 % is a clear sign for the Federal Reserve to rise the interest rates- it is estimated that there will be at least two increases this year.

The euro has fallen to 1,17 dollars. And naturally the ECB is worried about the overall economic situation in the Eurozone. Tradewars and sanctions are not helping the economic growth and rising inflation on the other hand will increase the pressures to rise the interest rates.

It seems clear that old rules are not working any more. In order to avoid the global economic and financial crisis, action, co-operation and readyness is needed from cabinets. Maybe we see something about this on Monday in #Helsinki2018?

Päivi Härkönen

 

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