Every week at the Current we round up the biggest business stories.
IMF releases global forecast
After lowering its growth forecast for America from 3.1 to 2.5 last month, the IMF has released a revised global forecast. The international agency now predicts that the global economy will grow by 3.3, .2 lower than the previous estimate of 3.5. China, meanwhile, has not seen its outlook for 2015 shift. Despite recent stock market concerns the Asian powerhouse will still grow by 6.8 according to the IMF.
British rates at record lows
British interest rates have, yet again, held steady at record lows. The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has held rates at 0.5% for 6 years. With interest rates remaining at basement levels the bank is unlikely to raise rates, although governor Mark Carney has predicted that inflation in the UK will rise by the end of the year.
NYSE goes dark
In a bizarre incident midweek trading on the New York Stock Exchange was halted for three hours for technical reasons. The Exchange has not fully disclosed the nature of the issue but the US Department of Homeland Security has insisted that it was not the result of hackers or other nefarious interference. United Airlines and the Wall Street Journal also suffered mysterious, so far unexplained shutdowns due to unnamed technical issues. Shares on the stock exchange were falling prior to the shutdown and continued that trend once trading resumed, falling 1.5 lower while the S&P 500 fell 1.7 and the Nasdaq 1.8.
In its latest financial stability report the Bank of England announced that it is concerned by the situation in Greece as well as recent uncertainty in China’s stockmarket. Sweden’s central bank, concerned particularly with the health of the eurozone, elected to cut its interest rate by a fraction of a percentage point.
China cuts rates again
The People’s Bank of China has cut its interest rate for the 4th time since november. The cut is intended to ease monetary policy in order to stabilize the Chinese economy.
Inflation falls in Europe
Inflation in the eurozone fell from 0.3 to 0.2 despite the continuation of the ECB’s quantitative easing program. The bank had hoped to reach a healthy 2% inflation rate but looks all but certain to fall far short.
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