A trade war is brewing between the US and many of its major trading partners. There are few historical precedents for this situation – a wide range of tariffs that provokes retaliation from other countries during a period of full employment – and the economic outlook is not without risks. That makes assessing the economy difficult for both business and policymakers.
It will take time to see the impact of tariffs on international trade and on GDP growth in the affected countries. However, we forecast a 6.3 per cent increase in US business fixed investment for 2018 – up from 4.7 per cent last year – even if the risks are tilted to the downside.
The current US economic expansion began in July 2009. If, as we expect, it lasts at least until the end of 2019, it will become the longest on record, beating the 1991 to 2001 expansion.
Although GDP growth in the first three months of 2018 was below average at 2.0 per cent we expect a second-quarter rebound to 3.9 per cent and have increased our full-year forecast to 2.8 per cent. Our inflation forecast is unchanged however: a 2.5 per cent average in 2018, dropping to 2.0 per cent next year.
Yet there are risks. The trade war has prompted reprisals from other countries and may widen to include motor vehicles.
The uncertainty of whether the trade war is contained or escalates further will likely depress the growth of business investment spending for industries directly affected by the new tariffs and quotas. But doubts over growth may affect investment far beyond those industries.
Surveys of business investment intentions provide some early clues. Plans to increase capital spending over the next six months were at record levels in the first quarter of 2018 but while still strong in the second quarter, were down.
Our expectation of a second-quarter GDP rebound is based on a recovery in consumer spending and a jump in net exports. But higher oil prices, encouraging increased drilling and production, mean investment spending is expanding again too, lifting total business fixed investment by 7 per cent in the past year.
The sustainability of the upturn in GDP growth is likely to rest on the strength of business spending in the year ahead. And whether business investment remains strong may depend on a tug-of-war between factors such as tax cuts and the disruption and uncertainty stemming from higher tariffs and trade tensions.
A full-out trade war would create upside risks for inflation, in our view. The economy is close to full employment and demand growth is being boosted by fiscal stimulus. Hitting the economy now with tariffs on a wide range of imports could spark increased inflation expectations – partly in response to price increases on imported goods, and partly as consumers realise there are few offsets to stop price increases being passed on.
With so few historical precedents for this situation, decision-making is difficult for the US Federal Reserve as well as for business. Nevertheless, we continue to anticipate a quarter-point interest rate hike in September and another in December 2018.
Disclosure and disclaimerMore, collapsed
The following analyst(s), economist(s), or strategist(s) who is(are) primarily responsible for this report, including any analyst(s) whose name(s) appear(s) as author of an individual section or sections of the report and any analyst(s) named as the covering analyst(s) of a subsidiary company in a sum-of-the-parts valuation certifies(y) that the opinion(s) on the subject security(ies) or issuer(s), any views or forecasts expressed in the section(s) of which such individual(s) is(are) named as author(s), and any other views or forecasts expressed herein, including any views expressed on the back page of the research report, accurately reflect their personal view(s) and that no part of their compensation was, is or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendation(s) or views contained in this research report: Kevin Logan
This document has been prepared and is being distributed by the Research Department of HSBC and is not for publication to other persons, whether through the press or by other means.
This document is for information purposes only and it should not be regarded as an offer to sell or as a solicitation of an offer to buy the securities or other investment products mentioned in it and/or to participate in any trading strategy. Advice in this document is general and should not be construed as personal advice, given it has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular investor. Accordingly, investors should, before acting on the advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to their objectives, financial situation and needs. If necessary, seek professional investment and tax advice.
Certain investment products mentioned in this document may not be eligible for sale in some states or countries, and they may not be suitable for all types of investors. Investors should consult with their HSBC representative regarding the suitability of the investment products mentioned in this document and take into account their specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs before making a commitment to purchase investment products.
The value of and the income produced by the investment products mentioned in this document may fluctuate, so that an investor may get back less than originally invested. Certain high-volatility investments can be subject to sudden and large falls in value that could equal or exceed the amount invested. Value and income from investment products may be adversely affected by exchange rates, interest rates, or other factors. Past performance of a particular investment product is not indicative of future results.
HSBC and its affiliates will from time to time sell to and buy from customers the securities/instruments, both equity and debt (including derivatives) of companies covered in HSBC Research on a principal or agency basis.
Analysts, economists, and strategists are paid in part by reference to the profitability of HSBC which includes investment banking, sales & trading, and principal trading revenues.
Whether, or in what time frame, an update of this analysis will be published is not determined in advance.
For disclosures in respect of any company mentioned in this report, please see the most recently published report on that company available at www.hsbcnet.com/research. HSBC Private Banking clients should contact their Relationship Manager for queries regarding other research reports. In order to find out more about the proprietary models used to produce this report, please contact the authoring analyst.
- This report is dated as at 05 July 2018.
- All market data included in this report are dated as at close 04 July 2018, unless a different date and/or a specific time of day is indicated in the report.
- HSBC has procedures in place to identify and manage any potential conflicts of interest that arise in connection with its Research business. HSBC's analysts and its other staff who are involved in the preparation and dissemination of Research operate and have a management reporting line independent of HSBC's Investment Banking business.
Information Barrier procedures are in place between the Investment Banking, Principal Trading, and Research businesses to ensure that any confidential and/or price sensitive information is handled in an appropriate manner.
- You are not permitted to use, for reference, any data in this document for the purpose of (i) determining the interest payable, or other sums due, under loan agreements or under other financial contracts or instruments, (ii) determining the price at which a financial instrument may be bought or sold or traded or redeemed, or the value of a financial instrument, and/or (iii) measuring the performance of a financial instrument.
Legal entities as at 30 November 2017
‘UAE’ HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, Dubai; ‘HK’ The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Hong Kong; ‘TW’ HSBC Securities (Taiwan) Corporation Limited; 'CA' HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc.; HSBC Bank, Paris Branch; HSBC France; ‘DE’ HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG, Düsseldorf; 000 HSBC Bank (RR), Moscow; ‘IN’ HSBC Securities and Capital Markets (India) Private Limited, Mumbai; ‘JP’ HSBC Securities (Japan) Limited, Tokyo; ‘EG’ HSBC Securities Egypt SAE, Cairo; ‘CN’ HSBC Investment Bank Asia Limited, Beijing Representative Office; The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Singapore Branch; The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Seoul Securities Branch; The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Seoul Branch; HSBC Securities (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, Johannesburg; HSBC Bank plc, London, Madrid, Milan, Stockholm, Tel Aviv; ‘US’ HSBC Securities (USA) Inc, New York; HSBC Yatirim Menkul Degerler AS, Istanbul; HSBC México, SA, Institución de Banca Múltiple, Grupo Financiero HSBC; HSBC Bank Australia Limited; HSBC Bank Argentina SA; HSBC Saudi Arabia Limited; The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, New Zealand Branch incorporated in Hong Kong SAR; The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Bangkok Branch; PT Bank HSBC Indonesia; HSBC Qianhai Securities Limited
Issuer of report
HSBC Securities (USA) Inc
452 Fifth Avenue, 9th floor
New York, NY 10018, USA
Telephone: +1 212 525 5000
Fax: +1 212 525 0354
This material was prepared and is being distributed by HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., ("HSI") a member of the HSBC Group, the NYSE and FINRA. This material is for the information of clients of HSI and is not for publication to other persons, whether through the press or by other means. It is based on information from sources, which HSI believes to be reliable but it is not guaranteed as to the accuracy or completeness. This material is not, and should not be construed as, an offer or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities. The opinions contained within the report are based upon publicly available information at the time of publication and are subject to change without notice. From time to time research analysts conduct site visits of covered issuers. HSBC policies prohibit research analysts from accepting payment or reimbursement for travel expenses from the issuer for such visits. HSI and/or its affiliated companies will buy or sell from customers on a principal basis the securities of the issuer(s) whose securities are recommended in this report. Employees of HSI and its affiliates not involved in the preparation of this report may have positions in the securities mentioned in this report and may from time to time add or dispose of any such securities in a manner different than discussed in this report.
Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. The value of any investment or income may go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount invested. Where an investment is denominated in a currency other than the local currency of the recipient of the research report, changes in the exchange rates may have an adverse effect on the value, price or income of that investment. In case of investments for which there is no recognised market it may be difficult for investors to sell their investments or to obtain reliable information about its value or the extent of the risk to which it is exposed. In the UK this report may only be distributed to persons of a kind described in Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005. The protections afforded by the UK regulatory regime are available only to those dealing with a representative of HSBC Bank plc in the UK. In Singapore, this publication is distributed by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Singapore Branch for the general information of institutional investors or other persons specified in Sections 274 and 304 of the Securities and Futures Act (Chapter 289) (“SFA”) and accredited investors and other persons in accordance with the conditions specified in Sections 275 and 305 of the SFA. This publication is not a prospectus as defined in the SFA. It may not be further distributed in whole or in part for any purpose. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited Singapore Branch is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Recipients in Singapore should contact a "Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Singapore Branch" representative in respect of any matters arising from, or in connection with this report. In Hong Kong, this document has been distributed by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited in the conduct of its Hong Kong regulated business for the information of its institutional and professional customers; it is not intended for and should not be distributed to retail customers in Hong Kong. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited makes no representations that the products or services mentioned in this document are available to persons in Hong Kong or are necessarily suitable for any particular person or appropriate in accordance with local law. All inquiries by such recipients must be directed to The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited. In Korea, this publication is distributed by either The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Seoul Securities Branch ("HBAP SLS") or The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Seoul Branch ("HBAP SEL") for the general information of professional investors specified in Article 9 of the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act (“FSCMA”). This publication is not a prospectus as defined in the FSCMA. It may not be further distributed in whole or in part for any purpose. Both HBAP SLS and HBAP SEL are regulated by the Financial Services Commission and the Financial Supervisory Service of Korea. In Australia, this publication has been distributed by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (ABN 65 117 925 970, AFSL 301737) for the general information of its “wholesale” customers (as defined in the Corporations Act 2001). Where distributed to retail customers, this research is distributed by HSBC Bank Australia Limited (ABN 48 006 434 162, AFSL No. 232595). These respective entities make no representations that the products or services mentioned in this document are available to persons in Australia or are necessarily suitable for any particular person or appropriate in accordance with local law. No consideration has been given to the particular investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any recipient. This publication is distributed in New Zealand by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, New Zealand Branch incorporated in Hong Kong SAR. In Canada, this document has been distributed by HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc. (member IIROC), and/or its affiliates. The information contained herein is under no circumstances to be construed as investment advice in any province or territory of Canada and is not tailored to the needs of the recipient. No securities commission or similar regulatory authority in Canada has reviewed or in any way passed judgment upon these materials, the information contained herein or the merits of the securities described herein, and any representation to the contrary is an offence.
If you are an HSBC Private Banking (“PB”) customer with approval for receipt of relevant research publications by an applicable HSBC legal entity, you are eligible to receive this publication. To be eligible to receive such publications, you must have agreed to the applicable HSBC entity’s terms and conditions (“KRC Terms”) for access to the KRC, and the terms and conditions of any other internet banking service offered by that HSBC entity through which you will access research publications using the KRC. Distribution of this publication is the sole responsibility of the HSBC entity with whom you have agreed the KRC Terms.
If you do not meet the aforementioned eligibility requirements please disregard this publication and, if you are a customer of PB, please notify your Relationship Manager. Receipt of research publications is strictly subject to the KRC Terms, which can be found at https://research.privatebank.hsbc.com/ – we draw your attention also to the provisions contained in the Important Notes section therein.
© Copyright 2018, HSBC Securities (USA) Inc, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, on any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. MCI (P) 116/01/2018, MCI (P) 016/02/2018