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05.07.2016 13:03 Britain doesn`t matter to the global economy, China does

With all due respect, Britain doesn`t really matter that much. To be sure it`s upsetting to see the UK political establishment - both major parties - being torn asunder amid a significant turn inward for one of the world`s great democracies. But when we`re talking about the future direction of the global economy, Britain has been playing a diminishing role for decades. According to the IMF, the UK accounted for roughly 2.4% of global GDP in 2015, down from about 4% in the early 1980s. This means that the slowdown in the UK will barely nudge the world`s large economies at all. For example, Goldman Sachs economists now estimate that the spillover effects on the US economy from the Brexit vote will be a scant 0.1%. No, if you`re looking for something to worry about, spin the globe and plant your pudgy finger on the People`s Republic of China, which continues to grapple with an economic slowdown that has significant implications for almost every country on earth.

03.07.2016 12:55 Europe 2020 Forecast

Ever since the Maastricht Treaty went into effect, the world began to speak of Europe as if it were a single entity governed by the European Union. This was never really true. Nevertheless, the world began to take it for granted, though European countries differed in their approach to the bloc. This was always a tenuous position, more psychological than institutional. We have long regarded the ambiguity in governance to be the Achilles` heel of Europe`s political arrangements. This was partly because it was difficult to understand and agree on the boundaries of the EU`s authority and that of the nations. But even more, the Achilles` heel was that the Europeans were incapable of clarifying the EU`s role. They couldn`t clarify it, because they didn`t agree on what it should be. Nor could they. The EU was a series of compromises between irreconcilable views. And inevitably, at some point, one of the members would throw up their hands and leave, revealing the basic truth of the EU: it is neither a federation nor a confederation. It is simply a treaty organization that can only survive as long as its internal contradictions don`t become unbearable. Our forecast on the EU said that it would last until about 2020. We hold with that, in the sense that the EU continues to function. But we see over the next few years that the bloc`s ability to function will deteriorate, followed by the onset of a new European reality that is actually an old one. The nation-state will return as the fundamental organizational principle of Europe, and with it ad hoc alliances and treaties will emerge, designed to allow nations to pursue their interests on the basis of temporary arrangements of convenience.

01.07.2016 14:46 World Bank keeps Thai growth forecast at 2.5%

The World Bank has maintained Thailand`s economic growth forecast this year at 2.5% due to impetus from fiscal stimulus and increasing tourism revenue. But the figure remains the lowest GDP growth projection among Asean member states excluding Brunei and Singapore. Timely implementation of public infrastructure projects this year and next can contribute to a more positive outlook for the Thai economy, said Kiatipong Ariyapruchya, the bank`s senior country economist. However, growth could be below 2.5% if fiscal disbursement in the second and third quarters cannot be accelerated, he said. In April, the World Bank revised up Thailand`s GDP growth forecast from 2% to 2.5% on the back of state stimulus measures implemented late last year and signs of improving exports. The Bank of Thailand recently forecast economic growth will be 3.1% this year, while the Fiscal Policy Office is predicting 3.3% and the National Economic and Social Development Board 3-3.5%.

29.06.2016 13:42 4 possible effects of Brexit on Russia`s economy

Despite Russia being called one of Brexit`s possible beneficiaries, in reality the UK`s potential exit from the EU poses more risks for the Russian economy than advantages. Experts believe that Russia`s economy is threatened by the fall in oil prices due to the reduction of world trade. Russian companies could delist their stocks from the London Stock Exchange, which would decrease their value. As a result, the government could postpone the sale of the shares of Russia`s largest oil company, Rosneft. However, it is also possible that the EU will soften its anti-Russian sanctions, since the UK was a consistent proponent of prolonging them.

27.06.2016 13:18 World economy signals investor caution

Many investors focus on the stock market in isolation of the U.S and world economies. And some feel they are entitled to the oft-quoted 10 percent annual return no matter what. These are views destined to lead to disappointment. While the markets and the economy don`t move in lockstep, they are linked over time. In general, economic growth throughout the world has been lackluster for several years and perhaps will be for several more. Over the last 18 months, many of the world`s stock markets have begun to reflect this. For example, the S&P 500 index was recently up less than 2 percent since Jan. 2, 2015. It`s true that in 2014 the U.S. market had a double-digit gain while the economy in the U.S. and the rest of the world was at best mediocre. But this was in the context of a cheaper U.S. market, the Federal Reserve`s low-interest-rate policy and widely held expectations of worldwide economic improvement.

24.06.2016 19:59 Why Brexit is grim news for the world economy

NIGEL FARAGE, the leader of the UK Independence Party, told elated supporters that June 23rd should go down as Britain`s Independence Day. The reaction in financial markets to Britain`s vote to leave the European Union was rather less euphoric. During the Asian trading day, the pound plunged against the dollar by over 10% to $1.32, a 30-year low. It fell far harder against the yen, a frequent bolthole for the anxious. Investors have started to flock to the safety of US Treasuries. As Europe`s markets opened, the main stock indices followed the lead set overnight in Asia and fell by around 10%. Investors hate uncertainty and the result of the referendum gives rise to a surfeit of it. But the falls in Asia`s equity markets are also in large part an early judgment about the impact on the world economy. Of course, markets often overreact. Britain accounts for just 3.9% of the world`s output; it is not big enough to make the global economic weather in the way America or China can. Then again, America`s economy has been sluggish of late and there are grave worries about China`s ability to escape the shadow of its mountainous debts. Britain`s economy looms large in Europe, where it is a reliable consumer in an otherwise high-saving continent. And any disruption to European growth is particularly unwelcome now.

22.06.2016 13:07 Brexit`s impact on world economy

The febrile behaviour of financial markets ahead of the United Kingdom`s referendum on June 23 on whether to remain in the European Union shows that the outcome will influence economic and political conditions around the world far more profoundly than Britain`s roughly 2.4 per cent share of global GDP might suggest. There are three reasons for this outsize impact. First, the Brexit referendum is part of a global phenomenon: populist revolts against established political parties, predominantly by older, poorer or less-educated voters angry enough to tear down existing institutions and defy establishment politicians and economic experts.

20.06.2016 11:56 The World Economy Is Stagnating Like It`s 1937

A financial crisis sends the global economy into recession. The U.S. government responds with a fiscal and monetary stimulus. Growth recovers, and unemployment drops, but the debts and psychological scars of the downturn linger. Consumers repair their balance sheets instead of taking trips to the mall. Investors hoard their capital among fears of low demand. Everyone wants government bonds, pushing benchmark interests rates toward the zero-bound. Inflation remains tepid. Still, policymakers see enough signs of recovery to cut public spending and tighten monetary policy. Is this a description of the economic landscape of 1937 or 2016? Economists at Morgan Stanley warn that the pattern describes both, and to avoid a repeat of 1938`s recession, the Federal Reserve must slam the brakes on raising interest rates, and the federal government must start running up the deficit.

17.06.2016 08:41 US vs China: 3 flash points between the world`s biggest economies

These are not easy times for relations between the world`s two largest economies. Against the backdrop of a slowing Chinese economy and a fiery U.S. presidential election campaign, economic tensions are rife. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is part of a team visiting Beijing on Monday and Tuesday for annual talks with top Chinese officials. Here are some of the key points of friction between the two sides: 1. Too much steel. 2. Currency concerns. 3. Feeling less welcome.

15.06.2016 09:28 What lies ahead for the world economy in 2016? Here`s what you need to know

Is there an end in sight to the global economy`s slowdown? Not yet, says the World Bank, which just cut its growth forecast because of a worse-than-predicted performance by commodity-exporting countries. In its latest Global Economic Prospects report, the bank said the impact of the commodities slump, alongside sluggish growth in advanced economies, weak trade and diminishing capital flows, would push global growth down to 2.4% this year, from the 2.9% estimated in January. The World Bank`s downgrade follows a similar move by the International Monetary Fund, which cut its global growth forecast in April to 3.5%, down from 3.6% in January.

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