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The global economy, while still growing, has hit a plateau and may not be strong enough to withstand rising trade tensions, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Thursday.

The IMF earlier this week cut its forecast for global growth to 3.7 percent this year and next year — down 0.2 percentage points from an earlier estimate. The downward revisions mean that the global economy would grow by the same rate for three consecutive years starting 2017.

“The real question is: Is the economy strong enough? To that, my answer is ‘probably not enough’ because we clearly see growth has plateaued three years in a row — it is at 3.7 percent — and we also see that growth is unevenly allocated around the world,” Lagarde told reporters at the IMF and World Bank annual meetings in Bali, Indonesia.

“Moreover, some of the risks that we have highlighted at our spring meetings in April have now begun to materialize, especially from the rising trade barriers,” she added. “If these tensions were to escalate, the global economy would take a significant hit.”

In addition to the hit to economic growth prospects, worsening trade tensions could also trigger another global financial crisis, the IMF said earlier this week.

Lagarde said the best response to the ongoing tensions is to “de-escalate, fix the system, don’t break it.” She added that the casualties won’t just be the U.S. and China — the two largest economies in the world in the center of the current tariff fight – but also countries that are part of the global supply chain and suppliers of raw materials to manufacturers involved in the dispute.

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World

Indonesia November trade deficit reaches widest since July 2013

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An employee assembles a BMW AG X3 sport utility vehicles (SUV) on the production line at a PT Gaya Motor plant in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Wednesday, July 18, 2018.

Dimas Ardian | Bloomberg | Getty Images

An employee assembles a BMW AG X3 sport utility vehicles (SUV) on the production line at a PT Gaya Motor plant in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Wednesday, July 18, 2018.

Indonesia posted its widest monthly trade deficit in over five years in November as exports slumped, data from the statistics bureau showed on Monday.

The deficit in November was $2.05 billion, bigger than October’s revised deficit of $1.77 billion and the biggest trade gap since July 2013, according to Refinitiv data. A Reuters poll had expected a deficit of $830 million.

Exports fell 3.28 percent in November from a year earlier, the worst monthly performance since June 2017, to $14.83 billion. The poll’s median was for a 3.95 percent increase for exports.

The bureau said exports of manufactured goods dropped nearly 7 percent in November from a year earlier.

November imports were $16.88 billion, up 11.68 percent from a year earlier, topping the poll’s 10.50 percent estimate.

Southeast Asia’s largest economy has been struggling to contain imports in recent months. Some measures, including higher tariffs, have been imposed to curb imports, in a bid to reduce the trade gap and support the rupiah.

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Hitachi to announce purchase of ABB’s power grid business: Nikkei

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Signage at the Silicon Valley headquarters of Japanese multinational conglomerate Hitachi, Santa Clara, California, which is reportedly due to announce Dec. 17, 2018 a plan to buy the Swiss engineering group ABB's power grid business.

Smith Collection, Gado | Archive Photos | Getty Images

Signage at the Silicon Valley headquarters of Japanese multinational conglomerate Hitachi, Santa Clara, California, which is reportedly due to announce Dec. 17, 2018 a plan to buy the Swiss engineering group ABB’s power grid business.

Hitachi and ABB will announce on Monday a plan for the Japanese conglomerate to buy the Swiss engineering group’s power grid business, paying up to $7 billion for an initial 50 percent stake, the Nikkei business daily reported.

The two companies, which have previously said they were in talks over the deal, will hold a news conference later on Monday, the business daily said.

The acquisition would allow Hitachi to boost its global presence in the power grid industry, while ABB, which also makes industrial robots, wants to offload its least profitable division to focus on areas such as automation.

A Hitachi spokesman declined to confirm the report, saying it was not something the company had announced.

A source familiar with the situation has valued the power grid business at between $10 billion and $12 billion.

Other sources have said that ABB could keep a stake in the power grid business via a joint venture with Hitachi.

The Nikkei reported that the deal would see Hitachi pay 600 billion-800 billion yen ($5.3 billion to $7 billion) for an initial 50 percent stake in the business.

ABB’s power grid business employs 36,000 people and had sales of $10.4 billion last year. It had an operating profit margin of 10.0 percent in the third quarter, down 60 basis points from a year earlier.

The decision to sell it marks a U-turn for ABB Chief Executive Ulrich Spiesshofer, who decided to keep the business two years ago despite calls from some shareholders to sell.

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Saudi Arabia rejects US Senate position on journalist Jamal Khashoggi

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Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama, on December 15, 2014.

Mohammed al-Shaikh | AFP | Getty Images

Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama, on December 15, 2014.

Saudi Arabia early on Monday rejected “the position expressed recently by the United States Senate,” saying that the Jamal Khashoggi murder is a crime that does not reflect the policy of the kingdom, a statement by Saudi’s foreign ministry said.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rejects the position expressed recently by the United States Senate, which was based upon unsubstantiated claims and allegations, and contained blatant interferences in the Kingdom’s internal affairs, undermining the Kingdom’s regional and international role,” the statement carried by Saudi Press Agency said.

“The Kingdom has previously asserted that the murder of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi is a deplorable crime that does not reflect the Kingdom’s policy nor its institutions and reaffirms its rejection of any attempts to take the case out of the path of justice in the Kingdom.”

The U.S. Senate delivered a rare double rebuke to President Donald Trump on Saudi Arabia last week, voting to end U.S. military support for the war in Yemen and blame the Saudi crown prince for the murder of journalist Khashoggi.

The statement also added “the Kingdom hopes that it is not drawn into domestic political debates in the United States of America, to avoid any ramifications on the ties between the two countries that could have significant negative impacts on this important strategic relationship.”

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