World Bank cuts forecast for world economic growth in 2019


by Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press

via 660 News (AB, Canada) - Jan 8, 2019


WASHINGTON — The World Bank is downgrading its outlook for the global economy this year, citing rising trade tension, weakening manufacturing activity and growing financial stress in emerging-market countries.


The anti-poverty agency expects the world economy to grow 2.9 per cent in 2019, down from the 3 per cent it forecast back in June. It would be the second straight year of slowing growth: The global economy expanded 3 per cent last year and 3.1 per cent in 2017.


The bank left its forecast for the U.S. economy unchanged at...





China plans slightly larger 2019 fiscal deficit target of 2.8 percent: Bloomberg



January 8, 2019


BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s finance ministry will propose an annual fiscal deficit target of 2.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) for 2019, up slightly from the 2.6 percent target set for 2018, Bloomberg reported citing two unidentified sources.


China’s annual economic targets, usually announced in March, are closely watched by financial markets for hints of any changes in its fiscal and monetary policies, which shifted into growth-boosting mode last year as the economy started to slow.


The report said the proposed target was presented during the ministry’s annual work conference in December and remains subject to approval by China’s legislature.


Policymakers have pledged to step up support for the cooling economy this year, following a raft of measures in 2018 including fast tracking infrastructure projects and cuts in banks’ reserve requirements and taxes.


Officials have pledged more aggressive tax reductions in 2019, fanning expectations among economists that the annual budget deficit ratio could be lifted to 3 percent.


But the deficit could be limited by an expected jump in special bond issuance by local governments to fund infrastructure investment. Some economists expect such bond issuance to hit 2 trillion yuan ($292.53 billion), up from 1.35 trillion yuan last year.


In 2018, the government cut the annual budget deficit target to 2.6 percent of GDP from 3 percent in 2017 - the first cut since 2012...