The global economy is under increasing stress as growth cools and trade tensions take a mounting toll. On Wednesday, the tremors were felt worldwide.
Shares on Wall Street were off sharply, only a day after they had rallied as President Trump narrowed the scope of his next round of tariffs. The S&P 500 was down 2.9 percent. And bond markets offered an ominous warning on American growth prospects, with yields falling to levels not seen in years.
The financial jitters, which continued Thursday as markets in Asia were down in early trading, came after new data showed the German economy hurtling toward a recession and factory output in China growing at its slowest pace in 17 years.
The trouble in two of the world’s manufacturing powerhouses indicated, in part, how hard both have been hit by Mr. Trump’s tariffs. And it increased concern that the United States, too, is headed for an economic reckoning...Certainly the brief appearance of an inverted yield curve was a potential sign of a recession. From my perspective, I don't think we've seen a slowing economy in either the personal life of my family and friends, or my work life, but it remains to be seen. I think it is possible that we may have a recession in 2020, but I don't think there is sufficient evidence from either the broader economy, or the chemical enterprise - yet.