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The data aren’t getting any worse at the global level

Given Q3 national accounts data from early-reporting countries and monthly data from other economies, it looks like world GDP growth actually picked up a touch last quarter to just over 3% annualised. And there have been some encouraging signs about the health of the world economy at the start of Q4. The OECD’s global leading indicator has improved in recent months and survey measures of export orders seem to have bottomed out. What’s more, according to Markit’s sector PMIs, the woes of the autos sector may be coming to an end. And while Markit’s composite PMI surveys still make for bleak reading, they have generally understated the strength of economic activity in recent quarters. At the same time, though, there are plenty of signs that labour markets are weakening in several major economies. In time, household income growth is likely to slow, which should in turn dampen growth in consumer spending, keeping overall global GDP growth subdued in 2020.

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