“The European Central Bank on Thursday unveiled a new economic rescue package, citing a darkening outlook driven by a slowdown in China, fears that the United Kingdom will make a chaotic exit from the European Union and aftershocks from President Trump’s tariff wars.
“The mounting worries prompted the bank to cut its growth forecast for 2019 by nearly one-third to just above 1 percent. ECB President Mario Draghi also said he would maintain rock-bottom interest rates through the end of this year, several months longer than previously planned, and funnel more credit to banks in hopes of spurring business lending.
“The move came less than three months after European authorities said the 19-nation euro zone economy no longer needed unusual help, capping more than a decade-long $3 trillion stimulus following the global financial crisis.”
“Eurozone productivity shrank in the second half of last year for the first time since the financial crisis, amid slowing economic growth.”
“German factory orders unexpectedly fell in January, piling on more evidence that Europe’s largest economy continued to lose momentum at the start of year.
“Orders were down 2.6 percent, the most since June, defying expectations for a 0.5 percent gain.”
Britain’s high street retailers suffered their worst February sales figures in a decade, down 3.7% from February 2018.
“This latest blow comes from the BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker, despite periods of unusually warm weather around Valentines Day and the half-term holidays.”
“Americans’ net worth fell at the highest level since the financial crisis in the fourth quarter of 2018 as sliding stock market prices ate into the household balance sheet.
“Net worth dropped to $104.3 trillion as the year came to an end, a decrease of $3.73 trillion from the third quarter, according to figures released Thursday by the Federal Reserve. The fall amounted to a drop of 3.4 percent.”
“China’s huge export industry has suffered its worst month in three years, hurt by the trade war with the United States and a slowing global economy.
“Chinese exports plunged 21% in February from a year earlier, according to Chinese government data released Friday. It was the weakest monthly performance since February 2016 and far worse than economists had predicted.”
“China’s coal imports in February tumbled 42 percent from the prior month as the world’s top buyer stalled custom clearances of shipments from Australia, sparking speculation it was retaliating politically against one of its biggest suppliers.”
“…ever since emerging markets became more integrated into the world’s financial markets, they have tended to be centre stage.
“A Fed tightening cycle preceded the debt crisis in Latin America in 1982, the Mexican crisis in 1995, the dotcom bubble in 2000 and the global financial crisis of 2008-09.”
“The Turkish economy will contract by as much as 1.8% this year, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has forecast.
“The prediction came in a week that saw opposition newspapers deploring the soaring cost of vegetables, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s blaming the price rises on speculators whom he likened to “terrorists” and opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu’s scoffing at Turkey’s having to import onions from Egypt.”
“Fishermen in Uttara Kannada [India] are left in the lurch as they are unable to get a good catch in the Arabian Sea for the past two weeks.
“Nearly 90 per cent of purse seine fishing boats have stopped fishing and have been anchored at Karwar port for the last two weeks. Like last year, fishermen this year too have been facing fish drought in February.”
“Women, wives, mothers who struggle to earn a living, despite the economic crisis in the Republic of Congo…
“Women fish vendors in Pointe-Noire, the Republic of Congo are unfortunately facing an increased shortage of their products in a country already hit by an economic crisis.”
“A widespread blackout enveloped much of Venezuela in darkness Thursday night, stopping subway service in the capital and causing problems around the country, which has been plagued by power failures as its economic crisis has worsened.”
“U.S. investors swarmed into sovereign debt and fled the volatility of stock markets on Thursday after Europe’s central bank cut its GDP forecast, rekindling fears that a slowdown overseas could send shock waves into the American economy… But where the ECB took investors mostly by surprise was in its decision to announce a new round of stimulus and push back its timeline for future rate hikes “at least through the end of 2019.””
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