“Global debt hit a record $184 trillion last year, equivalent to more than $86,000 per person — more than double the average per-capita income. Borrowing is led by the U.S., China, and Japan, the three biggest economies, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday, highlighting potential risks to global expansion given that their share of debt exceeds that of output.
“Overall, the amount of worldwide public and private debt is equal to about 225 percent of gross domestic product.”
“Once again, British Prime Minister Theresa May has returned from Brussels empty-handed.
“An EU diplomat told CNN before the meeting that the other 27 EU nations were looking to May to “convince” them she can get the withdrawal agreement through the UK Parliament, something she appears to have failed to do.
“”We’ve seen what happened (on Wednesday). Convince us that what you ask will make a difference. If she pulls that off then we can talk… in the end they are politicians and they will want to help her. We are ready to be convinced,” the diplomat said.
“The diplomat added that the “most likely scenario is stumbling into a no deal.”
“French business activity plunged unexpectedly into contraction this month, retreating at the fastest pace in over four years in the face of violent anti-government protests, a monthly survey showed on Friday…
“Companies have seen business drop after nearly a month of nationwide demonstrations that have triggered the most violent street protests seen in decades.”
“European carmakers couldn’t shake the slump that’s shadowed them since September as new car registrations declined for the third month in a row — adding fresh worries to an industry already facing declines in its largest market.”
Registrations fell 8.1% yoy.
“Since March 2015, the ECB commanded purchases of €2.6 trillion ($3 trillion) of debt, mostly sovereign, from across the euro zone. Today (Dec. 13) marks the end of an era of unprecedented monetary stimulus in the region’s economy.
“It finally puts Europe on the same path as the US, which for the past few years has been unwinding its own stimulus from the 2008 financial crisis.”
“Wall Street banks are offloading leveraged loans at discounted prices and demanding that borrowers accept less advantageous terms, as they move to protect themselves from rapidly weakening demand.”
“The risk of a U.S. recession in the next two years has risen to 40 percent, according to a Reuters poll of economists who also found a significant shift in expectations toward fewer Federal Reserve interest rate rises next year.”
“Between 2012 and 2015 — a period when the recovery seemed to be gaining speed — nearly half of all counties nationwide saw flat or declining growth, according to new government data. More broadly, the Commerce Department figures highlight a stark and worrisome reality: While a handful of places around the U.S. are thriving, most regions are barely trudging ahead.”
“The national housing slowdown is spreading to markets like Las Vegas and Phoenix, where prices still haven’t reclaimed their pre-crisis peaks. After home values rose sharply this year, the market has shifted in recent weeks.
“Prices fell slightly in November while the inventory of unsold homes in the Las Vegas region has roughly doubled compared with a year earlier, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors. Existing home sales slowed nearly 12% in November compared with a year earlier.”
“Beijing had high hopes that tax cuts for individuals would lift consumer spending and boost an economy which is showing the effects of the trade war, but overall retail sales in November proved disappointing.
“Even record spend on Singles’ Day’ on November 11 could not prevent retail sales from posting their weakest growth rate in 15 years.”
“A synchronised, global fiscal expansion may be able to moderate the pace of an eventual slowdown by some degree, or put it off longer than otherwise would have been the case.
“But with a trade war between the US and China unresolved (and starting to bite), Brexit chaos, riots in France and an Italian debt crisis, there’s certainly no shortage of strife weighing on global sentiment.
“In the words of top IMF official David Lipton, “storm clouds” are gathering. Time to grab that umbrella.”