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14.02.2019 18:00 German economy narrowly avoids recession

Germany`s economy just about avoided falling into recession during the final three months of last year. Europe`s largest economy registered zero growth during the fourth quarter of 2018, the country`s Federal Statistics Office said. That means it avoided two consecutive quarters of contraction, which is the usual definition of a recession. A weak trade performance dragged on the economy, and consumer spending remained subdued. The zero growth recorded in the October-to-December period followed a 0.2% contraction in the previous quarter. Reasons for slower growth last year include a slowdown in the global economy and a weaker car sector, with German consumers less willing to buy new cars amid confusion over new emission standards. In addition, low water levels, particularly in the Rhine, affected growth by holding back movement of some goods.

07.02.2019 15:33 Is Japan`s Sun Rising?

At a time of rising populism and authoritarianism around the world, Japan stands out as a relative island of social and economic stability. And though it owes its current situation to unique economic and geopolitical circumstances, it might still have something to teach other developed countries. When I participated in the Chatham House/Daiwa Research Institute conference on the post-Brexit Japan-UK relationship in Tokyo last month, it was my first visit back to Japan since my departure from Goldman Sachs almost six years ago. Prior to this trip, I had been visiting the country regularly since 1988, so it was helpful to see things from a slightly more detached perspective. By and large, Japan in 2019 feels relatively stable when compared to other advanced economies. A decade from now, I would not be surprised if it continues to show the highest real (inflation-adjusted) per capita GDP growth rate in the G7. True, Japan`s annual GDP growth has averaged just 1.1% so far this decade; but its declining population and shrinking workforce is already translating into stronger per capita performance. In fact, given the country`s demographic challenges, it might well be outperforming its long-term growth potential.

30.01.2019 13:44 Italy central bank slashes 2019 GDP growth forecast

The Italian economy will grow just 0.6 percent this year, the Bank of Italy said, slashing a projection of 1.0 percent made a month ago due to trade tensions and a weaker investment outlook. The latest forecasts are bad news for the radical government which took office in June last year and is trying to boost the flagging economy without falling foul of European Union budget rules. In its quarterly economic bulletin the central bank said activity had slowed more sharply than expected over the second half of last year, which will produce a negative carry-over effect on 2019. It said gross domestic product, which fell 0.1 percent in the third quarter of 2018, probably contracted again in the fourth quarter, producing what economists define as a “technical recession” of two straight quarters of declining GDP. National statistics institute ISTAT will release official Q4 data on Jan. 31.

25.01.2019 18:51 Russia GDP growth up 1.9 percent year-on-year in December 2018

The Russian economy expanded by 1.9 percent in December year-on-year after growing by 1.8 percent the previous month, the economy ministry said on Friday. The ministry increased its estimate for gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2018 to 2 percent from 1.8 percent due to a significant rise in construction activity. In 2017, GDP growth in Russia was 1.6 percent, according to the most recent estimate from the Russian statistics service. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has downgraded its projections for Russian economy growth in 2019 and 2020 by 0.2 and 0.1 percentage points to 1.6 and 1.7 percent respectively, including due to deterioration of the medium-term forecast for oil prices, the IMF said in a report on Monday.

16.01.2019 11:56 Global debt now three times size of world economy

Global debt rose 12 per cent in the September quarter to $US244 trillion ($339 trillion), and is now more than three times the size of the world`s economic output, according to the Institute of International Finance. Global debt has risen over 3 percentage points since 2017, exceeding 318 per cent of GDP in the third quarter of 2018, the IIF said in a report, slightly lower than the all-time high of 320 per cent in the third quarter of 2016, helped by the cyclical pickup in global growth. Most of the rise in global debt levels since 2008—more than 75 per cent—is from non-financial companies and governments worldwide, the institute said. Total government debt exceeded $US65 trillion in 2018, up from $US37 trillion a decade ago. Over the same period, non-financial corporate debt rose by $US27 trillion to more than $US72 trillion last year, to hover near a record high of 92 per cent of GDP.

07.01.2019 12:31 10 predictions for the global economy in 2019

The global economy started 2018 with strong, synchronized growth. But as the year progressed, momentum faded and growth trends diverged. The US economy accelerated, thanks to fiscal stimulus enacted early in the year, while the economies of the Eurozone, the UK, Japan and China began to weaken. These divergent trends will persist in 2019. IHS Markit predicts global growth will edge down from 3.2% in 2018 to 3.1% in 2019, and keep decelerating over the next few years. One major risk in the coming year is the sharp drop-off in world trade growth, which fell from over 5% at the beginning of 2018 to nearly zero at the end. With the anticipated escalation in trade conflicts, a contraction in world trade could drag down the global economy even more. At the same time, the combined effects of rising interest rates and surging equity and commodity market volatility mean that financial conditions worldwide are tightening. These risks point to the increasing vulnerability of the global economy to further shocks and the rising probability of a recession in the next couple of years.

06.01.2019 14:22 What will happen to the US economy in 2019?

The final jobs report of 2018 released Friday, boasting 312,000 jobs added in December, puts the U.S. economy on track for another relatively strong showing in 2019, with economists predicting a slowdown coming toward the end of the year. Unemployment is one of the factors in the latest data influencing such predictions. The unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent in December, but some economists attribute that mostly to more people entering the workforce and more people quitting their jobs — a sign that they believe they can get a job, and possibly higher pay, elsewhere. Over much of next year, the unemployment rate is expected to be around 3.7 percent before rising slightly in 2020, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia`s quarterly survey of forecasters. The forecasters also anticipate real GDP to drop slightly from 2.9 percent to 2.7 percent before falling further to 2.1 percent in 2020. Inflation is not expected to take off any time soon, despite the tightened labor market. Core inflation will likely tick up to 2.4 percent from 2.2 percent in 2018, according to the forecast. And despite the recent decline in the stock market, consumer confidence remains high, which economists say is a good sign that the economy will keep running at a steady pace in the near-term. So if things look good now, why are forecasters predicting slower times ahead?

31.12.2018 14:21 World economy to grow 3.5% next year

The world economy will see an annual growth of 3.5% in 2019, according to a forecast by economists of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The forecast was contained in a book released on Thursday. The slowdown in world economic growth next year is attributable to expected weakening of the US economy - the world`s largest - after its elevated growth this year as well as financial market turbulence, limited policy tools of major economies to handle an easing and trade frictions among major trading powers, according to authors of the Yellow Book of World Economy 2019, published by the Social Sciences Academic Press (China). In the US, major economic indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP) and employment have been close to historic highs. That means 2018 may be a peak for the US economy, said Sun Jie, an author of the book and economist at the Institute of World Economics and Politics on Thursday.

27.12.2018 14:10 Reuters poll: Russia faces higher inflation, economic slowdown in 2019

Russia`s economy will hit some speed bumps in 2019 and inflation will rise, a Reuters monthly poll showed on Thursday, due to risks of new sanctions, a weaker rouble and a planned tax increase. Russian economic growth has been below the global average in the past few years, hampered by a weak and volatile currency, a drop in oil prices, and by sanctions first imposed by the European Union and the United States in 2014 after Russia`s annexation of Crimea. Russia`s seizure of three Ukrainian navy vessels in November prompted calls for more sanctions on Moscow. The EU decided against further measures but extended its existing ones targeting Russia`s defense, energy and banking sectors, until mid-2019. Several times in 2018, Washington has raised the possibility of more sanctions for what has called Moscow`s “malign activities”, with new penalties possibly targeting holdings of Russian state debt.

24.12.2018 20:33 How oil prices impact Russia`s economy

Russia is the second biggest oil exporter in the world, making its economy vastly dependent on the global oil market. Oil and gas exports constitute 40 percent of the total federal budget revenue of Russia. A dip in oil prices between 2014 and 2016 caused big losses to the Russian economy. The price of crude oil decreased more than 30 percent from $75 to $53 between October 2 and December 21. This is the first declining trend since February 2016, the lowest price level in the last decade. How vulnerable is Russia? Russia is missing, or has already missed, the chance to transform how it generates revenue by investing instead on military expansion, economy consultant Yakup Kocaman told TRT World. The effect of Russia`s military expansion policy will be seen in the long-term, he said, commenting on the country`s dependence on oil.


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