“The US, Canada and Mexico could be suffering a growth wobble as the global economic slowdown threatens even the largest economy and its neighbours.
“Mexico’s GDP went into reverse in the first quarter as the country was hit by an unexpected contraction.
“Economic output fell by 0.2pc in the opening three months of 2019, initial estimates show, rather than rising by 0.3pc as analysts had expected.
“That is a fall from growth of 0.2pc in the previous quarter…
“Meanwhile, Canada’s GDP contracted by 0.1% in February.”
“…the prospect of ongoing instability, or outright civil war, only magnifies the dangers for Venezuela and for its oil production. Argus Media said that two army officials said that “six or seven” garrisons have been seized by soldiers backing Guaidó, although those claims have not been confirmed.
“Meanwhile, Argus also said National Constituent Assembly president Diosdado Cabello ordered all “armed collectives and civilian militia units in Caracas” to go to the presidential palace in Caracas to defend Maduro.”
“Scientists from labs across Argentina stayed home today, joining a nationwide strike against the government’s latest round of austerity measures.
“One of their key rallying points: a call to restore lost opportunities for young researchers who began their education during a time of high investment in science but now have little hope of continuing their careers in Argentina. Schools, public transportation systems, and university offices shut down as their employees joined the strike.”
“Brazil’s job market weakened in the first quarter, with 13.4 million people out of work and often forming massive lines to compete for precious few openings.
“The jobless rate surged to 12.7 percent in the first three months of the year…”
“African countries coping with low commodity prices must do more to re-balance investment and sustainable debt, and they should also ramp up tax collection, the International Monetary Fund’s Africa chief said…
“In the countries worst hit by the slump, the balance between investment aimed at development and sustainability had to be improved, Abebe Aemro Selassie, the IMF’s director for Africa, said during an interview on Tuesday in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.”
“Turkey has been almost constantly in the news over the past year, as troubling headlines about its economy and political situation continue to pile up.
“In a currency meltdown that escalated last summer, the Turkish lira has plunged by nearly 40%, threatening the Turkish economy as a whole.”
“Smaller and riskier emerging markets hit $3.2 trillion (£2.4 trillion) in debt at the end of 2018, but hard currency issuance by governments and companies slowed, an Institute of International Finance (IIF) report showed on Tuesday…
“And a steep rise in government debt could prove painful for vulnerable economies across a 26 country sample ranging from Pakistan and Kazakhstan to Vietnam and Bahrain, it added.”
“Australian house prices have in the past year suffered their biggest fall since the Global Financial Crisis. National home values have fallen 7.2 per cent in the past 12 months.
“The last time prices dropped more than that was in the year to February 2009 when they fell 7.4 per cent. The average price of houses in Sydney in April was $880,369, 16.1 per cent less than the peak of $1,049,740 in July 2017.”
“Europe, long a major destination of investor capital, is losing luster, say prominent bankers and asset managers, who are reducing exposure to the area…
“Among the concerns:
Great Britain will experience a hard Brexit separation from Europe, resulting in financial calamities; “yellow vest” protesters demanding equality in France will push the country toward unsustainable economic policies; Italy is not dealing with underlying issues that sent it to a third recession in a decade; big banks across Europe, including Deutsche Bank AG, have not dealt with money-losing exposures stemming from the 2008 financial crisis; and the European Central Bank has run out of options to fix all the troubles on its own.”
“Much will depend on how sustained the [oil price] spike proves to be.
“Exporting nations will enjoy a boost to corporate and government revenues, while consuming nations will bear the cost at the pump, potentially fanning inflation and hurting demand.
Ultimately, there comes a point where higher prices may be damaging to everyone.”
“The last time the Federal Reserve regularly hit its inflation target was 11 years ago, as financial markets in 2008 were entering the throes of a financial crisis and a recession.
“In some ways, that represents a cautionary moment for Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets, who says if the Fed tries to achieve its 2% inflation target by keeping monetary policy loose for an extended duration, it could drive rampant credit growth and destabilizing financial excesses.”
“There is a “crisis” brewing in America which will affect more Americans than the subprime crisis in 2008. For years, Wall Street has espoused the “myth of compounded average returns.”
“A report from the non-profit National Institute on Retirement Security found that nearly 60% of all working-age Americans do not own assets in a retirement account.”
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