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By HaleStewart December 3, 2017 7:27 am
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International Economic Week in Review: More and More Solid News

            The OCED released their latest World Economic Outlook, which was largely upbeat.  The organization is projecting a 3.5% global growth rate for 2017.  While this is below past expansions, it is the highest level in seven years.  Low rates are helping to support developed countries while increased Chinese investment is boosting demand from commodity exporting emerging economies.  Brazil and Russia – two growth laggards for the last few years – are both seeing modest expansions thanks to improved commodity prices.  Trade reported one of its highest levels in several years.  Investment, however, is still a bit weak.  Overall, the tenor of the report was positive entering 2018.

               EU economic news continues to be positive.  Unemployment continued to decline; the latest report continued a .1% drop to 8.8%:


While consumer loan growth was unchanged at 2.7%, loans to businesses increased a healthy .3%, growing 2.7%: 

The highest economic sentiment since the recession was partially responsible.  The only drawback was inflation: the overall rate was 1.5% with core up .9% for a second consecutive month.  This was also one of the weakest readings in the last seven months.

            Japanese news was mixed.  On the plus side, industrial production expanded 5.9% Y/Y, continuing this statistics recent run of very positive results:

And unemployment remained at 2.8%:

However, retail sales disappointed, slumping .2%.  This was one of the weakest readings in 6 months.  And inflation (or lack thereof) continues to be a problem: total inflation was .2% as was core. 

            Canadian news was especially strong.  3Q GDP was up 3% Y/Y.  Household spending advanced 4% while investment increased a more modest 2%.  However, machinery and equipment expenditures were up 9.4% (both numbers Y/Y).  But most importantly – and impressively, was the .4% drop in the unemployment rate: 


     The overall tenor of news continues to be positive, implying a good 1H18.

In 2009, F. Hale Stewart, JD. LL.M. graduated magna cum laude from Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s LLM Program.  He is the author of three books: U.S. Captive Insurance LawCaptive Insurance in Plain English and The Lifetime Income Security Solution.  He also provides commentary to the Tax Analysts News Service, as well as economic analysis to TLRAnalytics and the Bonddad Blog.  He is also an investment adviser with Thompson Creek Wealth Advisors. 



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