Weekly Market Thought of the Week – Insights On The Global Markets and Economy

Economic growth in the U.S. remains strong despite a gradual slowdown. The delayed release of the fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) showed that growth had moderated from 3.4% in the third quarter to a still abovetrend pace of 2.6% in the final quarter of 2018. This brings the annual growth rate for the U.S. in 2018 to 2.9%, just shy of the 3.0% targeted by the Trump administration. In Europe, data continues to point to a weakening economy. The European commission reduced its 2019 growth projection to 1.3% from 2018’s 1.9%. In addition, Brexit uncertainty continues to weigh on business sentiment as the March 29 deadline to leave the European Union (EU) draws closer with no finalized deal in sight. Challenges continue to persist for emerging markets as well. China set lower GDP targets of 6%-6.5% as trade wars hit home. To combat a slowing economy, Chinese policymakers are implementing a mix of fiscal and monetary measures to support growth.

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