The Global Interplay between Trade, Geopolitical and Commodity Shocks

CIGI Paper No. 229

October 16, 2019

Recent events have the potential to reverse the positive macroeconomic performance of the global economy and trigger a slowdown in both global growth and international trade. In particular, the implications of ongoing trade disputes that have undermined trust in the existing multilateral cooperation system and the incentive for countries to align with ongoing global policy coordination efforts. A compelling case for a mutually beneficial resolution of these tensions can be made by emphasizing the interdependence of the Group of Twenty (G20) economies — the G20 being the premier repository of international cooperation in economic and political matters. This study also considers the state of trade globalization, with an emphasis on the performance of the G20. The emergence of geopolitical risks (GPRs), that is, events that heighten tensions between countries and therefore threaten global economic performance, is an attempt to quantify the potential economic impact of the nexus between politics and economics. In the presence of heightened political risks, negative economic effects become more likely. Nevertheless, there is no empirical evidence investigating the links between the real economy, trade, the state of the financial sector, commodity prices and GPRs. Moreover, there is no evidence on these links that has a sample of countries that make up the G20. This paper begins to fill this gap. Relying on descriptive and statistical evidence, the conclusion is drawn that GPRs represent a significant factor that threatens global economic growth and economic performance, in the G20 countries in particular. Ultimately, however, GPRs reflect other factors, including threats stemming from trade tensions and large swings in commodity prices.

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About the Authors

Idris Ademuyiwa is a non-resident fellow at the Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa in Abuja, Nigeria, and a former research associate in CIGI’s Global Economy Program.

Pierre Siklos is a CIGI senior fellow who specializes in macroeconomics, with an emphasis on the study of inflation, central banks and financial markets.