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Traveling the Globe to Report on World Markets

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During the first quarter of this year, growth was supported by 3% gains in investments and higher consumer spending. The IMF expects the country’s economy to expand 2.2% this year, compared to a decline of 2.3% in 2016.

The housing segment rebounded in the beginning of 2018 as the demand for apartments showed a phenomenal increase. Based on the number of new building approvals, January saw a 17.1% increase on a month on month basis, compared to a 20.6% fall in December.

Substantially lower inflation levels are likely to allow Brazil’s central bank to reduce interest rates further. Consumer inflation dropped below 3% in July, the lowest level in nearly two decades. Growth is expected to accelerate to 1.7% in 2018, when the country is due to elect the next government.

Faster economic growth has raised expectations of an interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada during the second half of this year. The unemployment rate is at the lowest in nearly a decade though inflation remains below the central bank’s target.

The Chilean government has lowered its growth forecast for the current year to 1.5%, from 2.25% earlier. The government expects higher average copper prices for the current year, but domestic spending by households and businesses is likely to moderate.

The world’s second-largest economy registered fourth quarter GDP growth of 6.8%, which beat analyst estimates. For the year 2017, the economy expanded 6.9% even as the government initiated economic restructuring.

The central bank expects the economy to expand less than 2% this year, as the recently implemented tax reforms could restrict economic activity. The Colombian government is planning to reduce spending by more than $1.6 billion to lower the revenue deficit in 2018.

The economy that has registered fast growth in the recent quarters is displaying signs of overheating, Central Bank Governor Jiri Rusnok said. Mr. Rusnok added that the central bank would continue to normalize interest rates to rein in rising inflation.

Egypt’s GDP grew at an annualized rate of 5.3% between October and December, its second quarter of the current financial year (July 2017 to June 2018). The same period a year ago had recorded 3.8% growth.

The French economy grew 0.5% between July and September, slightly underperforming the 0.6% growth clocked in the second quarter.

Germany’s seasonally adjusted GDP climbed 0.8% between the second quarter and the third, outpacing the 0.6% quarterly expansion recorded at the end of June.

The beleaguered south European economy appears to be making small strides toward returning to normality, the latest green shoot being the rebound in the manufacturing sector.

The trade-reliant economy recorded a blip in growth during the fourth quarter, expanding 3.4% year on year, compared to a 3.6% growth in the previous quarter. The city’s government expects economic growth in range of 3 to 4% in 2018.

The overall economic uptick in the central and east European region and the Euro-zone as well as low unemployment has helped the small, export-oriented economy of Hungary to clock healthy growth rates in the recent quarters.

The economy expanded at a 7.2% annual rate in the October-December quarter. This continues the country’s rebound from 2017’s slowdown due to the demonetization of highdenomination currency notes and troubles related to the rollout of the GST.

The economy expanded 5.2% in the fourth quarter from the year-ago period, better than expected, helped by a rebound in exports though consumer spending remained tepid. Exports increased 8.5% during the quarter, while retail sales edged up by a meager 2.6%.

GDP expanded at an annualized rate of 3.6% between October and December, beating estimates but slowing down slightly from the third quarter. For the year 2017, the economy clocked 3.3% growth.

Between the second quarter and the third, the Italian economy expanded 0.5%, outdoing the 0.4% growth recorded from April to June.

The Shinzo Abe administration offered a nod of confidence in Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda by re-appointing him for a new five-year term, signaling that the loose monetary policy would continue for the near term.

The economy grew at a rate of 5.9% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, slower than the 6.2% expansion in the quarter before. The services sector rose 6.2%, helped by retail and wholesale trade.

The economy is expected to grow 1.7% this year and 2% in 2018, according to the most recent forecasts from the IMF. The Mexican central bank increased its benchmark rate in June, but indicated that the rate is likely to be on hold for the rest of this year.

The country’s services sector recorded slow growth in January 2018 as new orders fell to their lowest levels seen in 10 months, according to a Reuters news report. The index showed a reading of 55.8 during the month.

Floods and landslides that caused extensive damage in June may have reduced the pace of economic growth in Peru during the second quarter of the year. However, construction activity should expand strongly during the coming months on reconstruction efforts.

The Philippines clocked GDP growth of 6.7% for the year 2017, earning the distinction of growing above 6% for the sixth year in a row. For the fourth quarter, the economy registered year-on-year growth of 6.6%.

The economy expanded 4.6% during 2017, driven by domestic demand and higher economic activity in the region and the European Union.Household consumption, which contributes about 61% of GDP, expanded 4.7% in 2017, aided by government spending and higher wages.

During the latest review period, Qatar showed several signs of coping well with the economic sanctions imposed by some Middle-Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia.

Low inflation is giving a boost to domestic consumption, Russian central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina reported. The government expects inflation to remain below the central bank’s target of 4%, according to a Reuters news report.

After expanding 5.2% year on year in the third quarter, the economy seems to have slowed down in the fourth quarter of 2017. On an annual basis, GDP increased only 3.6%, compared to the same period a year ago.

Citing the growing adverse impact of political uncertainties on business confidence and investment, the IMF cut its 2018 growth projection for South Africa from 1.1% to 0.9%.

The economy slowed down in the fourth quarter of 2017 due to a long holiday that curtailed industrial production, while the robust overseas sales of computer memory chips was offset by the slump in automobile exports, a Reuters news report said.

Spain’s GDP jumped 0.8% in the third quarter, meeting estimates but slightly underperforming the 0.9% growth recorded in the second quarter.

Taiwan’s economy expanded 3.3% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2017, which came in well above the government’s estimate of a 2.4% increase. The economy registered higher export growth in January, helped by robust global demand for its products.

Despite registering growth for the fifteenth quarter in a row, Thailand’s economic expansion fell short of analyst estimates in the fourth quarter. Growth came in at 4% year on year in the quarter, below the consensus estimate of 4.4%.

With inflation expected to remain above the central bank’s target for the year, the monetary policy committee of the bank is unlikely to resort to monetary easing in the near term despite pressure from the Erdogan administration to cut interest rates.

Thanks to recovering oil prices and the strength of the UAE’s non-oil sector, this year is expected to be better for the UAE economy. According to the UAE Ministry of Economy, GDP growth is likely to accelerate to 3.9% in 2018 while the IMF has pegged the 2018 GDP growth rate at 3.4%.

At the end of September, the U.K. economy expanded 0.4% from the second quarter and 1.5% from the same period a year ago. The quarterly growth rate exceeded expectations.

U.S. economic growth during the first half of this year likely fell short of earlier expectations, despite the stable trends in domestic spending and the improvement in external trade. First quarter growth was revised higher to 1.4% annualized, as consumer spending exceeded initial estimates and exports accelerated.

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