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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.

Increasing exports of commodities helped the economy clock a trade surplus in September. Iron ore exports boomed, thanks to strong demand from China with prices rebounding from $47 a ton in June to about $65 a ton in the third quarter.

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.

In the second quarter, China clocked 6.9% annualized growth, beating estimates and matching the first-quarter growth rate. Strong industrial production, spurred by a revival in exports, rising investment, solid retail sales and very low inventory, drove the second-quarter performance.

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.

If domestic politics do not seem to instill confidence, economic indicators did bring some cheer. The unemployment rate in the country fell to a new low of 3.6% in October.

Structural reforms gained momentum. Foreign investment in Egyptian government securities touched $5.7 billion and remittances worth nearly $8 billion came into the country’s legitimate financial system.

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.

After making a return to the bond markets in July, the beleaguered South European economy seems to be making slow, yet steady progress. The IMF clarified recently that the country is not required to implement more fiscal measures under the current bailout program.

The economy registered strong consumption and surging exports though growth cooled in the third quarter. Exports increased 5.5% year on year during the quarter. The economy grew 3.6% year-on-year during the period, compared with a revised 3.9% growth in the second quarter.

According to government estimates, the economy is forecast to expand more than 4% in the second half of 2017, helped by a rebound in the construction sector and robust manufacturing.

India’s annualized GDP growth slowed down from 6.1% in the first quarter to 5.7% in the second. Manufacturing growth decelerated from 5.3% to 1.2%.

Between April and June, Indonesia’s GDP increased 4% from the first quarter and 5% from a year ago on the back of a 5.4% rise in investment and a nearly 7% surge in construction sector activity.

In its interest rate discussion for April, the Bank of Israel’s Monetary Committee presented a very optimistic assessment of the Israeli economy.

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

Fresh from the recent triumph in elections, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his administration would work in tandem with the Bank of Japan to beat deflation. Mr. Abe said the central bank would stick to its monetary easing to achieve its inflation target of 2% by March 2020.

In the second quarter, the country’s output grew 5.8% from a year ago and 1.3% from the first quarter, exceeding expectations and the corresponding GDP figures for the first quarter.

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 political uncertainty that prevailed after the recent national elections seems to have cleared as the new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern outlined her administration’s priorities. Regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Ms. Ardern said she would seek changes to the pact.

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 economy expanded 6.5% on an annualized basis from April to June, posting its 8th consecutive quarter of above-6% growth.

Focusing on Poland, the EBRD is forecasting growth at the rate of 4.1% in 2017 for the economy, which is seen to moderate to 3.4% in 2018 as the impact of government-sponsored social payments fades away.

Qatar, which is the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, is likely benefiting from the recovery in energy prices, but the key driver of the economy now is public spending on infrastructure.

Notwithstanding the green shoots, economic uncertainty continues to cast a cloud on investment activity in Russia, primarily due to the newly-imposed sanctions on the country for its alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

The export-oriented economy of Singapore expanded at the fastest pace seen in four years in the third quarter, helped by a boom in manufacturing. Manufacturing activity increased a whopping 34.6% during the quarter, compared to a meager 4% growth in the second quarter.

GDP diminished 0.3% between the third quarter of 2016 and the fourth. Two ratings agencies downgraded South Africa’s credit rating to junk status.

Between April and June, GDP in the country increased 0.6% from the first quarter and 2.7% from a year ago. Exports fell and construction investment eased but private consumption picked up speed.

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

In the second quarter, Taiwan’s GDP expanded 2.1% on an annualized basis, recording its second consecutive quarter of growth deceleration.

In the second quarter, Thailand’s GDP expanded 3.7% from a year ago, outpacing both estimates and the first-quarter growth rate of 3.3%.

The EBRD has forecast that the economy is likely to expand 5.1% this year and 3.5% in 2018. The bank almost doubled its projections, citing the government’s confidence-building fiscal stimulus measures and credit expansion initiatives.

Recent data and trends show an improved outlook for the UAE economy. Following the partial recovery in oil prices, the all-important oil sector is expected to contribute more to overall economic activity in the coming months.

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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