And that’s just stateside.
John Stoltzfus, the chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer Asset Management in New York, met with institutional investors in the past week across mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
He and his team walked away doubling down on their view that the global economy would further suffer from a prolonged trade war between the US and China with no immediate deal in sight.
“In our view the cost of a protracted trade war is simply too high and too impractical considering the challenges and opportunities that lie on the global and economic landscape and which might be ignored and missed as a result of a protracted trade/tariff war,” Stoltzfus wrote.
The trip arrived at a tense moment for US-China relations and mere weeks before Trump and the Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to convene at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. Economic growth in China has also fallen under a microscope as key measures like retail sales in the country have slowed.
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In a report distributed to clients, Stoltzfus ran down down other takeaways from his trip to paint a picture of how the economy is faring there now and what he heard from institutional investors.
“We noted that ironically year one of the trade war had been less of a negative to both China’s and the US economy than many had expected,” he wrote, citing a robust 2.9% gross domestic product growth in 2018 (still short of Trump’s 3% growth promise) and 6.5% growth in China.
But he added: “We suggested that year two of the trade war might not be so kind to either country.”
Stoltzfus included other more anecdotal observations, like heavy traffic on a Saturday afternoon “consisting mostly of very new looking vehicles that to our eyes looked heavily represented by foreign brands (though with most vehicles likely manufactured in China).”
Here’s a recap of what Oppenheimer’s strategists gleaned from meeting with investment professionals during their week-long trip.
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