“The world is $243 trillion (£188tn) in debt, according to the Institute of International Finance, pushing it very close to $244tn (£189tn), the highest on record.
“Around 40% of low-income countries are in ‘debt distress’ or are at high risk of falling into that category in the near future. Public debt in advanced economies is the highest as a proportion of GDP it has been since World War II…
“The global economy is running on credit and economies around the world are having growth forecasts cut. ‘Large challenges loom for the global economy to prevent a second Great Depression,’ the IMF’s annual economic outlook said.
“Governor of The Bank Of England Mark Carney reported the weakest output since recession in 2009, the bank JP Morgan says a recession is coming in 2020, economist John Mauldin predicts that the 2020s will be the worst decade in American history and billionaire investor George Soros says we may be heading for another global financial crisis.
“While not quite the four economists of the apocalypse, prediction after prediction is saying that 2020 will be the year when things really start happening.”
“A new global economic crisis might be on the horizon. Global growth remains very soft and the world’s largest companies are revising their growth figures and holding back on investments. Unilateralism, fragmented regulatory bodies and a depleted arsenal of tools for reviving economic growth will mean that the next recession is likely to be more prolonged and more devastating.
“There are multiple reasons why the next crisis will be far worse than the crisis of 2008.”
“Although the global financial crisis began in the U.S., the breakdown it triggered in Europe had graver consequences.
“A decade later, the economies of the U.S. and the European Union have both largely recovered, but some of the hardest-hit European countries — Greece, Italy and Spain — are not in such good shape.”
“Eurozone statistics agency Eurostat will release first quarter GDP data for the single currency area today.
“Quarterly growth is forecast to remain between 0.2% and 0.3%. Transatlantic trade tensions and uncertainty over Brexit made an impact in the fourth quarter of 2018, when growth collapsed to 0.1%. This has raised fresh concerns that the European Central Bank has withdrawn stimulus too early, making it likely that it will be forced to further delay its decision to raise interest rates until at least 2020 and introduce new stimulus measures.”
“British car manufacturing declined for the tenth month in a row in March – and industry bosses have warned it could slump to 1980s levels in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
“A total of 126,195 cars were built in the UK last month, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. That is a 14.4% decline on the 147,505 vehicles produced in March 2018, and brings total output for the first quarter of 2019 to 370,289, a 15.9% drop from last year’s output of 440,530.”
“The U.S. economy showed clear signs of slowing during the first three months of the year, despite a much higher than expected figure for headline growth in gross domestic product (GDP) reported on Friday…
“…the details contained within the GDP report paint a much less healthy picture of the economy and confirm other indicators that suggest it continued to lose momentum at the start of 2019.”
“US sanctions came into effect on Sunday to block Venezuela’s economic lifeline of oil exports, in what Washington hopes will be a major blow in its fledgling campaign to topple leftist President Nicolas Maduro…
“Oil is the lifeblood of Venezuela’s crippled economy, accounting for 96% of exports.”
“The impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran’s economy is dragging on the broader region’s activity, according to the latest economic health check from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“The organization predicts a 1.7% contraction in the output of goods and services for non-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) oil exporters, after already having shrunk by 1.1% last year.”
“A row between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) over deducted tax revenues reached new heights on Monday as the PA’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, refused to accept anything other than the full amount his government is owed.
“Tens of thousands of PA employees have been left out of pocket as austerity measures are imposed to help balance the authority’s books, and are struggling to survive.”
“A delegation of the IMF arrived in Pakistan on Monday to hold technical discussions for a bailout package to the cash-strapped country, days after Prime Minister Imran Khan met IMF chief Christine Lagarde in China.
“Pakistan is seeking USD 8 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to bail itself out from a severe balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple the country’s economy.”
“South Korea’s economy shrank in the first quarter of 2019. That is a headache for policymakers in Seoul, but it might also have a wider significance. While Hong Kong itself might be sheltered to some degree, there may be troubled times ahead for other open economies in Asia whose fortunes are closely tied to China.
“US dollar strength, coupled with an elevated oil price, will only make matters worse.”
“China’s factory activity softened in April, official data showed Tuesday, in the latest sign that the world’s second-largest economy remains on uneven footing despite a raft of government stimulus measures.
“The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a key gauge of factory conditions, came in at 50.1 for the month, down from 50.5 in March, the National Bureau of Statistics said.”
“China’s Evergrande was supposed to scale back its towering debt pile this year, leading the country’s property sector in a much needed deleveraging. But a surge in US dollar borrowing has investors worried the burden will actually grow…
“Evergrande is China’s most highly indebted property developer, owing a total of more than $100bn, while the industry faces a wall of more than $300bn in maturing debts in the next two-and-a-half years.”
“Global military expenditure reached its highest level last year since the end of the Cold War, mainly fueled by increased spending by the United States and China, the world’s two biggest economies, a leading defence think-tank has said.
“In its annual report published on Monday, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said overall global military spending in 2018 hit $1.82 trillion, up by 2.6 percent on the previous year.”