The IMF just revised the economic growth forecast it published last October moderately downward (0.2% for 2019). The IMF still projects growth that will be close to post-2008 highs (3.5% in 2019). They are concerned about economic performance in Europe, specifically in Germany and Italy.

As we discussed in a recent analysis on macroeconomic forecasting performance, these projections should not be relied upon to predict something serious happening (positive or negative), as the major forecasting agencies all tend to underestimate significant volatility. Forecasts tend to be least helpful when they are most needed, which is unfortunate and needs to be understood as a planning consideration for organizations.

Enjoy this week’s digest - US wage analysis, drivers of oil price movement, monetary data, and more.  

Featured Viz:  

In December 2018, average hourly earnings in the United States increased by 3.2 percent from December 2017, the highest rate increase since May 2009. In addition, due to low inflation American workers saw the largest improvement in real hourly earnings since August 2016. Wages grew because the labor market tightened, as indicated by the historically low unemployment rates.

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Upcoming Events & Relevant Data

🌴 25th Annual ISTF Conference (January 31) 🌴

The Yale Chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters will host the 25th Annual ISTF Conference beginning Thursday, January 31. The annual conference addresses global priorities including illegal logging, conservation finance, conflict and cooperation, ecotourism, and more. 

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Insights Around the Web

The IMF revised global growth projections downward to 3.5% in 2019 and 3.6% in 2020 (0.2% and 0.1 % below October 2018 projections), citing trade tensions and a worsening of financial conditions as key sources of risk.  IMF.   

Work with the latest data here.

Energy consumption in the EU is rising due to economic expansion, despite targets to reduce demand across Europe informed by environmental concerns. EURACTIV

In 2018, US electrical vehicles (EVs) sales increased 81% over 2017, outperforming many expert projections. Greentech Media

The second-deadliest and second-largest ebola outbreak in history began last year on August 1  in The Democratic Republic of Congo. CNN

New Data In Knoema
This dataset provides potential factors that influence crude oil prices including physical market factors and those related to trading and financial markets. Moreover, the dataset highlights explores possible linkages between each factor and crude oil prices. The dataset ranges from 2000 to 2020.
This dataset provides the global distribution of claims and liabilities to foreign residents held by U.S. banks and financial institutions. The dataset is also helpful in evaluating the degree of risk in bank portfolios and details relative exposure to countries where the claims and liabilities have concentration. The dataset ranges from 2014 to 2018.
This dataset covers a wide range of monetary and fiscal statistics to help understand the dynamic financial sectors at a country level. The dataset ranges from financial assets, nonfinancial assets, and liabilities of all institutional sectors within an economy with particular focus on the financial corporations sector. The dataset ranges from 1950-2018.

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