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The US economy grew at the weakest pace of Trump's presidency in 2019 – Business Insider

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  • Economic growth continued to moderate at the end of 2019 but maintained a solid enough pace to keep the record-long expansion on track in its eleventh year.
  • The Commerce Department estimated Thursday that gross domestic product rose by 2.1% between October and December.
  • That brought full-year GDP growth to 2.3%, falling short of the 3% target that President Donald Trump has long pledged to meet.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Economic growth continued to moderate at the end of 2019 but maintained a solid enough pace to keep the record-long expansion on track in its eleventh year.

The Commerce Department estimated Thursday that gross domestic product, a broad measure of all the goods and services produced in a nation, rose by 2.1% between October and December. In the previous three months, GDP rose by the same percentage. Economists had expected 2% growth in the fourth quarter.

That brought full-year GDP growth to 2.3%, the weakest rate since President Donald Trump took office and short of the 3% to 4% growth his administration has long pledged to deliver. GDP growth has consistently registered significantly below that target throughout the president’s term, undermining a key talking point as he campaigns for re-election in November.

Friday’s GDP reading is the first of three. A second estimate for the fourth quarter is scheduled to be released February 27, after more data is available.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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Singapore cuts 2020 GDP outlook again as virus batters economy – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Aradhana Aravindan and John Geddie

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore downgraded its 2020 gross domestic product forecast for the third time on Tuesday, the trade ministry said, as the bellwether economy braces for its deepest ever recession.

The city-state lowered its GDP forecast to a contraction range of -7% to -4% from the prior range of -1% to -4%.

Singapore’s economy shrank 0.7% year-on-year in the first quarter and 4.7% on a quarter-on-quarter, a less severe decline than advance estimates, although officials and analysts warned of more pain ahead.

“There continues to be a significant degree of uncertainty over the length and severity of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as the trajectory of the economic recovery,” said Gabriel Lim, permanent secretary at the ministry of trade and industry.

Following the news, the central bank chief economist Ed Robinson said monetary policy remains unchanged and will next be reviewed in October, as planned.

Singapore also downgraded its 2020 forecast for non-oil domestic exports to -4.0% to -1.0%, from -0.5% to 1.5% previously.

Exports have been a rare bright spot for the economy in recent months mainly due to a surge in demand for pharmaceuticals.

Analysts expect the trade-reliant economy to see a deeper contraction in the second quarter due to a two-month lockdown, dubbed a “circuit breaker” by authorities, in which most workplaces closed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The city-state has among the highest number of infections in Asia and has said that easing of the lockdown from next month will only be done gradually.

“The downward revision…implies a significant deterioration in the second-quarter momentum due to the circuit breaker period as well as a weak recovery trajectory,” said Selena Ling, OCBC Bank’s head of treasury research and strategy.

The government first flagged the possibility of recession in February when it cut its 2020 GDP forecast to -0.5% to 1.5%, from 0.5% to 2.5% previously.

Singapore’s finance minister is set to deliver the latest in a string of multi-billion-dollar economic packages to offset the hit to businesses and households from the pandemic later on Tuesday.

(Reporting by John Geddie, Aradhana Aravindan and Fathin Ungku; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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Singapore cuts 2020 GDP outlook again as virus batters economy – The Guardian

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By Aradhana Aravindan and John Geddie

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore downgraded its 2020 gross domestic product forecast for the third time on Tuesday, the trade ministry said, as the bellwether economy braces for its deepest ever recession.

The city-state lowered its GDP forecast to a contraction range of -7% to -4% from the prior range of -1% to -4%.

Singapore’s economy shrank 0.7% year-on-year in the first quarter and 4.7% on a quarter-on-quarter, a less severe decline than advance estimates, although officials and analysts warned of more pain ahead.

“There continues to be a significant degree of uncertainty over the length and severity of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as the trajectory of the economic recovery,” said Gabriel Lim, permanent secretary at the ministry of trade and industry.

Following the news, the central bank chief economist Ed Robinson said monetary policy remains unchanged and will next be reviewed in October, as planned.

Singapore also downgraded its 2020 forecast for non-oil domestic exports to -4.0% to -1.0%, from -0.5% to 1.5% previously.

Exports have been a rare bright spot for the economy in recent months mainly due to a surge in demand for pharmaceuticals.

Analysts expect the trade-reliant economy to see a deeper contraction in the second quarter due to a two-month lockdown, dubbed a “circuit breaker” by authorities, in which most workplaces closed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The city-state has among the highest number of infections in Asia and has said that easing of the lockdown from next month will only be done gradually.

“The downward revision…implies a significant deterioration in the second-quarter momentum due to the circuit breaker period as well as a weak recovery trajectory,” said Selena Ling, OCBC Bank’s head of treasury research and strategy.

The government first flagged the possibility of recession in February when it cut its 2020 GDP forecast to -0.5% to 1.5%, from 0.5% to 2.5% previously.

Singapore’s finance minister is set to deliver the latest in a string of multi-billion-dollar economic packages to offset the hit to businesses and households from the pandemic later on Tuesday.

(Reporting by John Geddie, Aradhana Aravindan and Fathin Ungku; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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Canadians are starting to feel a little better about the economy — but not about the housing market – Financial Post

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Consumer confidence continues to show signs of improving in Canada, inching higher for a fourth straight week.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, based on a random survey, ticked up slightly to 39.3 last week. While the index remains near its worst-ever readings recorded last month, the rise in confidence in recent weeks suggests negative sentiment may be finding a floor amid talk of reopening the economy. Sentiment around housing, however, remains at near-record lows.

Every week, Nanos Research surveys 250 Canadians for their views on personal finances, job security and their outlook for the economy and real estate prices. Bloomberg publishes four-week rolling averages of the 1,000 responses.

The polling suggests the mood is still dire, but with improvements on most questions.

Regionally, the gains in sentiment have been mostly in Western Canada, aided by a recent rebound in oil prices and relatively fewer coronavirus cases — British Columbia, for example, has one of the lowest death rates in North America. Confidence in Ontario and Quebec remain at near record lows.

The share of Canadians who say their personal finances have worsened over the past year dropped to 36.7 per cent, from as high as 42.3 per cent last month. That’s still about 10 percentage points above the average for this question over the past five years.

Canadians remain sour about the nation’s economic outlook, but are less pessimistic than they were a few weeks ago. About 73 per cent of respondents believe the economy will worsen, down from 80 per cent last month.

About one in five Canadians remains worried about job security, about double the historical average for the question. That’s down from a peak of about 25 per cent a few weeks ago.

Housing is an outlier. Even as sentiment has improved around the economic outlook and personal finances, expectations around real estate are weakening. Over the past two weeks, almost half of respondents anticipate a drop in home prices, which is a record and about three times above the average for this question.

Bloomberg.com

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