The global economy's sharp loss of speed through 2018 has left the pace of expansion the weakest since the global financial crisis a decade ago, according to Bloomberg Economics.
Its new GDP tracker puts world growth at 2.1% on a quarter-on-quarter annualized basis, down from about 4% in the middle of last year. While there's a chance that the economy may find a foothold and arrest the slowdown, "the risk is that downward momentum will be self-sustaining," say economists Dan Hanson and Tom Orlik.
The reasons for hope? The Federal Reserve's decision to pause its interest-rate hikes, a U.S.-China trade truce and the fading of the shocks that battered Europe in 2018 could mean stabilization is around the corner. Other central banks have also stepped up, with the European Central Bank last week announcing new measures to help the economy through the current weakness.
But the global economy is not out of the woods. The OECD's latest composite leading indicator – published Monday – indicates easing momentum in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and the euro area as a whole, including Germany and Italy. There are, however, signs of stabilization in China...