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World Bank raises its global growth forecast

The World Bank raised its forecast for global growth, predicting that the global recovery will continue to gain speed after reaching the fastest pace in six years.

The global economy is forecast to grow by 3.1 per cent this year instead of 2.9 per cent projected in June, the bank said in its Global Economic Prospects .

The outlook for 2019 was lifted to 3.0 per cent from 2.9 per cent. For 2020, the bank forecasts a 2.9 per cent expansion.

Global growth is expected to last for at least the next couple of years, as investment and manufacturing activity is driving a broad cyclical recovery, aided by benign financial conditions, loose monetary policy and improved confidence.

Still, the bank added that risks remain tilted to the downside, warning that an abrupt tightening of financing conditions or a spike in market volatility could derail the expansion.

Meanwhile, eurozone industrial output climbed by one per cent in November, following October’s 0.4 per cent increase, figures by Eurostat show. This was the fastest growth since August and also exceeded the expected increase of 0.8 per cent.

November’s jump in industrial production suggests that the sector finished last year on a strong footing, adding to the evidence that overall GDP growth picked up in the fourth quarter.

However, the annual growth in industrial output eased to 3.2 per cent in November from 3.9 per cent in October. Output was forecast to climb by 3.1 per cent.

Finally in the United States, a report released by the Labour Department showed an unexpected modest decrease in producer prices in December. The department said its producer price index for final demand edged down by 0.1 per cent in December after increasing by 0.4 per cent in November.

Economists had expected producer prices to rise by 0.2 per cent.

Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices still dipped by 0.1 per cent in December following a 0.3 per cent increase in November.

Core prices had also been expected to notch up by 0.2 per cent.

This report was compiled by Bank of Valletta for general information purposes only.

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