United Nations, Jan 22 (AP/UNB) — The global economy will grow around 3 percent annually in 2019 and 2020, but waning support for multilateralism, escalating trade disputes, increasing debt and rising climate risks are clouding prospects, the United Nations said Monday.
The U.N.'s report, the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019, said signs suggest that the economic growth spurt "has peaked," forecasting that global growth will remain steady at just below the 3.1 percent expansion of 2018.
But the report also stressed that economic growth is uneven and often doesn't reach poorer nations. Per capita income is expected to stagnate or see only marginal growth this year in parts of Africa, western Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, it said.
While economic indicators remain "largely favorable," U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the report "raises concerns over the sustainability of global economic growth in the face of rising financial, social and environmental challenges."
"Global levels of public and private debt continue to rise," the U.N. chief said in the foreword. "Economic growth is often failing to reach the people who need it most. The essential transition towards environmentally sustainable production and consumption is not happening fast enough, and the impacts of climate change are growing more widespread and severe."
Guterres said one overarching message is clear: While short-term challenges need to be addressed it's critical to advance long-term U.N. goals including combatting poverty and preserving the environment. This requires nations working together to tackle climate change, mobilize funds to promote development and redress inequality, he said.
The 218-page report was produced by the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development and the U.N.'s five regional economic commissions.
The report was issued on the same day that the International Monetary Fund cut its growth forecast for 2019 to 3.5 percent from a prediction of 3.7 percent in October, citing heightened trade tensions and rising interest rates. And China, the world's second-largest economy, said its economic growth slowed to 6.6 percent in 2018, the weakest since 1990.
Explaining the higher IMF forecast, Dawn Holland, chief of the U.N.'s Global Economic Monitoring Branch, said the U.N. and the IMF use different methodologies. The IMF gives more weight to rapidly growing countries like China and India and to developed economies, "which means that the average is about 0.5 percent higher" than the U.N. average, she said.
The U.N. forecasts that China's economic growth will slip to 6.3 percent in 2019. Holland said this largely reflects China's longer-term shift "towards a more sustainable path which includes an increase in domestic demand, in consumption, offsetting slower growth in investment and export-driven growth."
For the United States, the world's largest economy, the U.N. is forecasting that economic growth will decrease from 2.8 percent in 2018 to 2.5 percent in 2019 and 2 percent in 2020. For the European Union, it projects growth will remain steady at the current annual rate of 2 percent through 2020.
According to the report, several major commodity-producing countries are expected to see a moderate pick-up in economic growth in the next two years, from relatively low bases.
Growth in Russia, a major oil exporter, is predicted to drop from 1.5 percent in 2018 to 1.4 percent in 2019 but then rise to 2.1 percent in 2020. Brazil, which exports soybeans, iron ore, sugar and oil, is forecast to see 2018 growth of 1.4 percent rise to 2.1 percent in 2019 and 2.5 percent in 2020. Nigeria, also an oil exporter, is forecast to increase economic growth from 1.9 percent in 2018 to 2.1 percent in 2019 and 2.7 percent in 2020.
Dubai, Jan 20 (Xinhua/UNB)- India is expected to become the top trade partner of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2020 through doubling their annual trade volume, a UAE minister said Saturday.
The annual trade volume between India and the UAE, which stood at 57 billion U.S. dollars in the past few years, could exceed 100 billion dollars by 2020, the official news agency WAM quoted Thani Ahmed Al-Zayoudi, the UAE minister of climate change and environment, as saying.
Thani made the remarks after meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India's western state of Gujarat, where he is attending the ninth Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, which runs from Jan. 18-20.
The summit is a platform for brainstorming on the agenda of global socio-economic development.
Beijing, Jan 18 (AP/UNB) — China and Germany have promised to open their markets wider to each other's banks and insurers, giving Beijing a diplomatic victory amid trade tension with Washington and other governments.
The two sides on Friday affirmed support for the global trading system that other governments worry is threatened by President Donald Trump's "America first" policies.
The announcement followed talks between German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and China's economy czar, Vice Premier Liu He.
China has tried without success to recruit Germany as an ally in its tariff war with Trump but Berlin has expressed support for global free trade.
The two sides signed agreements to cooperate more closely on financial regulation. They included no commercial commitments, but Liu said Beijing welcomed German financial institutions to play a bigger role in China.
Singapor, Jan 17 (AP/UNB) — Asian shares were mixed Thursday on fears that a reported U.S. investigation of China's Huawei would derail trade talks between the world's two largest economies.
KEEPING SCORE: Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.1 percent to 26,866.94 while Australia's S&P ASX 200 rose 0.3 percent to 5,850.10.The Shanghai Composite index lost 0.1 percent to 2,567.21. Japan's Nikkei 225 index edged 0.2 percent lower to 20,402.27 while South Korea's Kospi added 0.1 percent to 2,107.06. Shares rose in Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia but fell in Singapore.
WALL STREET: Strong earnings reports by financial and investment companies like Goldman Sachs spurred gains Wednesday. But worries about U.S.-China relations put a drag on sentiment. The broad S&P 500 index rose 0.2 percent to 2,616.10, after rising as much as 0.6 percent during the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.6 percent higher at 24,207.16 and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.2 percent to 7,034.69. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks climbed 0.7 percent to 1,454.70.
US-CHINA TENSIONS: A Wall Street Journal report, citing people familiar with the matter, said federal prosecutors were investigating China's Huawei Technologies Ltd. for allegedly stealing trade secrets from American companies including T-Mobile. The report said the investigation resulted from several civil lawsuits against Huawei and an indictment could be issued soon. This revived worries over relations between the two countries as officials struggle to find a compromise ahead of the Mar. 1 end of a moratorium on raising tariffs against each other's exports. Negotiators from both countries recently held trade talks in Beijing and more high level negotiations are in the works.
ANALYST'S TAKE: Suggestions that the U.S. is investigating Huawei "raise questions about whether trade optimism is premature and crucially, whether more fundamental and strategic tensions between the U.S. and China induce a longer-term, slow-burn drag," Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank said in an interview.
BREXIT HURDLE: On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote by a narrow margin of 325 to 306. This comes after lawmakers rejected a deal she brokered for Britain's exit from the European Union. May has said she will talk to opposition parties and other lawmakers to come up with a Plan B. Leaving the bloc without a deal on March 29 is expected to be bad for the economy, as inflation and unemployment soars.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 26 cents to $52.05 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 20 cents to settle at $52.31 per barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, dropped 24 cents to $61.08. It added 68 cents to $61.32 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar eased to 108.89 yen from 109.13 yen late Wednesday. The euro edged down to $1.1391 from $1.1394, while the British pound retreated to $1.2879 from $1.2885.
Singapore, Jan 16 (AP/UNB) — Asian markets were mixed on Wednesday as poor Japanese data and worries about global growth put a damper on trading.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.6 percent to 20,430.73 while South Korea's Kospi added 0.3 percent to 2,102.45. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.3 percent to 26,756.09. Australia's S&P ASX 200 rose 0.1 percent to 5,822.60.The Shanghai Composite index was flat at 2,568.88. Shares fell in Taiwan but rose in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
WALL STREET: U.S. indexes climbed Tuesday to their highest level in a month after Chinese officials said measures were in place to help the world's second largest economy through a slowdown. Technology companies rallied after Netflix announced its biggest price increase in history. The broad S&P 500 index jumped 1.1 percent to 2,610.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 percent to 24,065.59. The Nasdaq composite, which has many technology stocks, jumped 1.7 percent at 7,023.83.
JAPAN ECONOMY: On Wednesday, Japan said its core machinery orders were flat in November at 863.1 billion yen, compared with October's 7.6 percent rise. This was also lower than analysts' expectations of a 3 percent increase. There was a sharp drop in orders from the manufacturing sector, although overseas orders climbed. The data suggests Japanese companies may be less confident in making big-ticket purchases in the face of global risks.
CHINESE GROWTH: Senior Chinese economic leaders, in outlining their policy plans for 2019, have promised to cut taxes and keep monetary policy flexible to help the country weather a slowdown. The news lifted Chinese shares and global financial markets on Tuesday. Buying eased on Wednesday as traders took stock of the country's falling exports to the U.S. amid a costly trade dispute. Both sides have pledged to work on their issues, but there seems to be a long road ahead with higher-level negotiations to come.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "Markets had a good start to the year on optimism. It is not a surprise that traders are taking a pause to consider the whole global picture, before corporate earnings start to take center stage," said Song Seng Wun, an economist at CIMB Private Banking.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil dropped 13 cents to $51.98 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added $1.60 to settle at $52.11 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 7 cents to $60.57. It gained $1.65 to $60.64 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar eased to 108.53 yen from 108.69 late Tuesday. The euro weakened to $1.1399 from $1.1413. After a Brexit deal vote fell through, the British pound fell to $1.2842 from $1.2859.