Jan 31

Executive Insights: The Economic Consequences of the Trade War

Topic: The Economic Consequences of the Trade War
Dr. Michael Spencer, Managing Director, Chief Economist and Head of Research Asia Pacific, Deutsche Bank
Time & Date: January 31 (Thu.) 2019, 11:45 – 14:00
Location: Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo

About the Event

The US-China trade war is about much more than trade and isn’t just between China and the US. The major developed economy leaders have concluded that China is opening up to trade and investment too slowly and protections of its SEOs distort not only the domestic market but foreign markets when those firms export or invest abroad. There is a path out of this conflict that would be mutually beneficial, but will leaders on both sides find it?

The trade war is only one of a number of significant geopolitical risks: Brexit; European conflicts over fiscal policy and other concerns have led to an elevated sense of uncertainty. Fortunately, the global economy remains quite robust. Growth has peaked, but is slowing down at a moderate pace, supported by an “exceptional” US economy. Our base case is for growth in the US and Europe to remain strong enough, even if a little slower, to support the continued gradual withdrawal of monetary stimulus.


To the first Executive Insights of 2019, AHK Japan had the pleasure to welcome Dr. Michael Spencer, Managing Director, Chief Economist and Head of Research Asia Pacific of Deutsche Bank, as a speaker at Shangri-La Hotel in Tokyo.

At Executive Insights Dr. Spencer gave a brief overview over the recent economic development in the US, EU, as well as China and Japan with a focus on the economic consequences of the ‘trade war’ between the US and China. Dr. Spencer pointed out that uncertainty about the economic and political outlook has unsettled businesses and investors. Nevertheless, the US and EU economy is expected to continue growing above potential into 2020, characterized by lower unemployment rates and higher inflation. He concluded that the so-called ‘trade war’ is more about investment than about trade. While it might be difficult to reach an agreement that addresses all of the US’ concerns, a ‘truce’ between the US and China countries seems likely.

After the presentation, participants could ask questions and discuss the topic further. We thank Dr. Spencer and Deutsche Bank for these interesting insights into recent economic developments.


Dr. Michael Spencer is Chief Economist and Head of Research, Asia Pacific, at Deutsche Bank. He has been a senior member of Deutsche Bank’s research department since joining the bank in Hong Kong in December 1997 as Senior Economist. Since 2013, he has also been Head of Research, Asia Pacific, overseeing the bank’s equity, fixed income, credit, foreign exchange and economics research throughout the region. He is also a member of the Management Committee of Deutsche Bank AG, Hong Kong.

Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Michael worked at the International Monetary Fund between 1990 and 1997, the last six years of which were in the International Capital Markets division, which pioneered the IMF’s surveillance of capital markets and financial system soundness in all its member countries. He has published numerous articles on different aspects of financial economics in both academic and policy fora.

Michael has a PhD and a Bachelor of Arts degree (Honours) from Queen’s University, Canada, and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Toronto.

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