Some Better-Than-Expected China Data Can’t Save the World Economy

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The economies of the U.S. and China showed welcome signs of stabilization, although not enough for global central bankers to declare the all clear about the outlook.

Here’s our weekly wrap of what’s going on in the world economy.

Tapping the Brakes

It’s a tapping, not a pumping, of the brakes globally as more economies feel some relief on the back of less gloomy China data. Better-than-expectedfirst-quarter growth and a surge in credit are the latest signs that the world’s No. 2 is at least on the mend after a rough start to the year. There’s still a mood of caution, especially coming out of semi-annual IMF-World Bank meetings, where global finance chiefs were reluctant to chart a big rebound. And it’s especially the story in Europe, where the continent’s growth engine has slashed its growth forecast. Worse yet are crisis economies like Brazil that only seem to be getting worse. Venezuela claims the title of world’s most miserable economy for a fifth year.

The U.S. had been the resilient one and retail sales for March beat forecasts, signaling consumers are giving the economy greater support. But one big negative risk for the year is building: bulging trade-war era stockpiles weigh on growth.

Still Miserable

Nations with worst Bloomberg Misery Index score remain identical in 2019

Note: The Bloomberg Misery Index is calculated as the sum of a country’s inflation and unemployment rates. The index compares the median estimate of economists’ forecasts for each country’s rates in 2019 to 2018 published data. Forecasts are as of April 11.

Sources: Bloomberg surveys, government data, IMF

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