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UK economy set to grow faster than the U.S. this year – Goldman – Reuters UK

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People shop at market stalls, with skyscrapers of the CIty of London financial district seen behind, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in London, Britain, January 15, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Britain looks set to see faster economic growth than the United States this year as the country races ahead with its vaccination programme after its slump in 2020, Goldman Sachs said on Sunday.

The bank said in a note to clients that it now expects British gross domestic product to grow by a “striking” 7.8% this year, “above our expectations for the U.S.”

Previously, Goldman had expected Britain’s economy would grow by 7.1% this year and its forecast for U.S. growth in 2021 stands at 7.2%, helped by U.S. President Joe Biden’s huge fiscal stimulus programme.

A Reuters poll of analysts published on April 13 showed an average forecast for growth of 5.0% in the UK, the world’s fifth-biggest economy, in 2021. The International Monetary Fund has projected a 5.3% expansion.

But since those forecasts were made there have been signs of an acceleration in the pace of recovery with the country now having given a first coronavirus vaccine to more than half of its total population. read more

“The UK economy is rebounding sharply from the Covid crisis,” Goldman Sachs said.

“The April flash PMI was much stronger than expected in the UK, with the services PMI moving strongly further into expansionary territory,” it said.

The bank also noted a much-stronger-than-expected 5.4% monthly jump in retail sales in March.

Britain’s economy shrank by nearly 10% last year as it was hit by longer coronavirus lockdowns than many of its peers. By comparison, the U.S. economy shrank by an estimated 3.5%, according to the IMF.

On Saturday, Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent was quoted as saying he expected “very rapid growth at least over the next couple of quarters” as the country lifts its coronavirus restrictions. read more

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Alberta government says jobs, economy, COVID to be focus of fall legislature sitting – CBC.ca

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The Alberta government plans a busy fall legislature sitting aimed at adding jobs and diversifying the economy while focusing on tamping down the renewed surge of COVID-19.

Government house leader Jason Nixon says this will include proposed legislation on recognizing professional credentials to address labour shortages. The bill will be introduced by Premier Jason Kenney.

“Our focus will be on Alberta’s workforce, a couple of bills around diversifying the economy, a big focus on building infrastructure for our future, [and] growing our resources, particularly on the energy side,” Nixon said in an interview Friday.

There will also be new initiatives on environmental protection and conservation.

Nixon said there will be 18 to 20 bills for the sitting, which begins Monday and is scheduled to run to the first week of December.

“It’s a very robust fall agenda,” he said.

Nixon said the government will continue to take steps to reduce COVID-19 cases, which have severely stressed the health system.

No COVID-19-specific bills are planned, he said, noting they were passed in previous sittings.

“There’s certainly other stuff to be done to manage the pandemic but we’ll stand ready if Alberta Health needs us to pass any legislation to deal with the pandemic.”

He said debate in the chamber is expected to return to some semblance of normalcy.

In the spring sitting, both the United Conservative government and the Opposition NDP reduced their numbers in the chamber to prevent the spread of the virus.

This time, with all NDP members and all but one on the UCP side vaccinated, all will be allowed back in for debate.

18 to 20 bills are expected in the fall sitting of the legislature. (Juris Graney/CBC)

The lone UCP member has a medical exemption and will be tested regularly, said Nixon.

He said there are still masking rules and members will try to maintain distancing where possible.

The NDP said it plans to hold the government accountable for what went disastrously wrong on COVID-19.

“This fall sitting of the legislature will be laser-focused on getting answers from the UCP on why they’ve failed Albertans so miserably in managing the devastating fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Christina Gray, the NDP house leader.

“Since July 15, more than 85,000 additional Albertans have been infected with the virus and 700 have died.”

Gray said the NDP will call for an all-party inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic with the power to compel documents and testimony.

Nixon said the government will not agree to such a motion. He said it would be wrong to redeploy vital health resources right now and that Kenney has promised an eventual review of how the province handled the pandemic.

Kenney has also promised to bring forward a motion to ratify and act on the results of Monday’s provincewide referendum on Canada’s equalization program.

Final results aren’t in from Edmonton, but figures from Calgary and other cities suggest the referendum will pass with about 60 per cent in support of urging the federal government to remove the principle of equalization from the Constitution.

Kenney has said the issue is not about removing equalization, something no province can do unilaterally, but about getting leverage to negotiate other issues surrounding federal transfers to attain a better deal with Ottawa.

Political scientist Jared Wesley said Kenney will likely continue to focus on initiatives such as the equalization referendum, if only to change the narrative on his low popularity ratings.

“The premier will be spending most of his time, if he has anything to say about it, outside the province, stumping for this fair deal,” said Wesley, with the University of Alberta.

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Charting the Global Economy: Weekly Global Economy Check – Bloomberg

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Sign up for Next China, a weekly email on where the nation stands now and where it’s going next.

China’s economy continues to cool as the nation’s housing slump intensifies, while supply-chain bottlenecks are keeping a tight grip on the recoveries in the U.S. and Europe.

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Brazil's Economy Chief to Stay in Job to Avoid Further Crisis – BNN

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Paulo Guedes, Brazil's economy minister, during the launch event of the Banco do Brasil SA Agro Investment Program at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. President Jair Bolsonaro is growing uneasy about Brazil’s inflation in the run-up to general elections next year, but his complaints about rising prices don’t mean he plans to interfere with the central bank, according to five people close to him including cabinet members.

(Bloomberg) — Brazil Economy Minister Paulo Guedes has decided to stay in the job even after losing four key members of this team over disagreements about the government’s spending plans, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Guedes held a meeting with the remainder of his team late on Thursday after the mass resignations amid President Jair Bolsonaro’s move to break the country’s spending ceiling rule to fund a new social program ahead of the 2022 elections. The minister said he would stay because he believes his departure would further deteriorate the situation, the person said, asking not to be identified to discuss internal government matters.

Read More: Bolsonaro Loses Top Economic Aides After Unveiling Spending Plan

Brazilian markets plunged on Thursday after Bolsonaro’s spending plan was unveiled. The currency sank 1.1% to its weakest level against the dollar since April and the stock market plunged 2.8%, extending its losses to more than 6% this week. 

Resignations in Guedes’s team were announced after markets closed.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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