“The global economy’s loss of momentum has left expansion now looking like its weakest since the global financial crisis, a development that has already sparked a shift among central banks.
“A UBS model suggests world growth slowed to a 2.1 percent annualized pace at the end of 2018, which it says would be the weakest since 2008-2009…
“China car sales dropped in January, and data last week showed U.S. retail sales posted their worst drop in nine years in December. In Europe, where the slowdown has been particularly marked, sentiment indicators continue to weaken, and the latest OECD leading indicator has also declined.”
“Among one of several signals that young adults are being forced to wait until much later in life to reach key milestones, the Office for National Statistics said it took until the age of 34 for more than half of the population to own their own home, compared to 26 in 1997.
“Average house prices in Britain have skyrocketed by more than 270% over the past two decades…”
“Some 16,000 jobs could be put at risk when Japanese car firm Honda announces the closure of its factory in Swindon today. The expected announcement will hit 3,500 people employed at the Wiltshire plant as well as another 12,500 whose jobs depend on the Honda supply chain.
“Jobs could also be at risk in companies who depend on the Swindon workforce for their business, as Honda was urged to rethink the ‘devastating’ decision. It is the latest blow to Britain’s car industry after Nissan announced it would no longer build the X-Trail at its Sunderland plant and Land Rover said it would cut 4,500 British jobs.”
“On and on and on it goes … Theresa May appealed (again) to the Commons for more time to seek substantive changes from the EU27 to the Northern Ireland backstop, which pretty much all concerned know she is not going to get…
“Over at equally conflicted Labour, seven MPs resigned from the party over Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, including his approach to Brexit and in particular a second referendum. They will sit as a new independent group.”
“Brussels is afraid that the euro zone’s fourth-largest economy [Spain] could be affected by the same kind of political instability seen for years in Italy, which is currently led by a populist and euro-skeptic government.
“The risk of seeing Spain follow in Italy’s footsteps is creating apprehension among EU institutions, which view Spain as one of the few member states that supports European integration and remains free of extremist parties.”
“Turkey cut the amount of cash lenders are required to hold in reserves for the first time in six months as the central bank tries to rouse credit growth without signaling a more drastic change in its tight policy stance.
“Turkey’s economy probably slipped into recession after capping last year with two consecutive quarters of contraction as the lira’s crash and the ensuing jump in borrowing costs ripped through the Middle East’s largest economy.”
“India holds the dubious distinction of having the worst non-performing loan ratio among the world’s major economies, having surpassed Italy.
“A $190 billion pile of soured and stressed debt has cast the future of some lenders in doubt and curbed investments.”
“China will provide further support for banks’ perpetual bond issuance, including examining ways to broaden the investor base for such bonds, to help boost lending in the economy, a vice central bank governor said on Tuesday.
““Perps” – bonds with no maturity date – are seen as a major step toward recapitalisation of banks, whose lending capacity to the real economy is largely limited by their capital adequacy.”
“Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fired a key political ally and cabinet member amid a campaign funding scandal, raising doubts over his government’s unity and the prospect of economic reforms.
“Secretary-General Gustavo Bebianno’s dismissal was confirmed by the presidential spokesman on Monday afternoon, after days of intense speculation. The ruling PSL party that Bebianno headed and Bolsonaro joined less than a year ago allegedly misused campaign funds during last year’s election, according to Folha de S.Paulo.”
“With top ally Venezuela in crisis, Cuba is moving to cover its oil needs elsewhere, seeking possible alternative supplies in Qatar and Algeria, officials said Monday.
“Foreign Trade Minister Rodrigo Malmierca was in Qatar on Sunday, and headed to Algeria Monday, the foreign ministry said.”
“Risky corporate debt, particularly in the form of leveraged loans, has been on the rise for a number of years, with analysts suggesting the recent build up could be a significant risk to global GDP growth.
“Since 2015, world private sector debt has risen by around 15% of world GDP — a level higher than it was prior to the global financial crisis, according to Oxford Economics.
“Growing global debt is a major concern for the world economy because recent evidence has indicated that credit booms often end in busts of seismic proportions.”