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WORLD: Slowdown of Global Economy

In 2018, the global goods trade (+3.8%) and the global economy growth (+3.0%) decelerated. So far, the expansionary monetary policies and the sound labour market situation have sustained the economic activity in the advanced economies. In February, the global industry Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) has fallen to its minimum since 2016. The leading indicator (50.6) is slightly above the threshold indicating future growth. The situation is considered worse compared to the previous months regarding orders, production and employees.

Political uncertainties in Europe (Brexit, Italy’s fiscal policy) and protectionist tensions (USA-China) may trigger a further slowdown of the global economy. There is little margin for manoeuvre in fiscal and monetary policies to counteract the economic weakening. Besides the Federal Reserve (Fed), the major central banks have limited margin to decrease the leading interest rates. The extreme expansion of their balance sheets limits the unconventional quantitative measures. The high public debts prevent easing measures in terms of fiscal policy.

The Fed’s recent decision to stop tax rates increases could stabilize the dollar’s strengthening tendency and the context in which emerging countries operate. The oil market was dominated by oil price fluctuations, with prices trending downwards because of concerns over a global economic slowdown together with growing oil production. For 2019, a price for Brent crude of 74 $/bl is foreseen. In 2018, the uncertainty caused by trade tensions weighed on industrial metal prices.

April 2019


ECSA Chemicals AG
Burgauerstrasse 17
CH-9230 Flawil (Switzerland)

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ECSA Maintenance AG
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Via Luigi Favre 16 
CH-6828 Balerna (Switzerland)

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ECSA Energy SA
Via Luigi Favre 16 
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T. +41582119500
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con Unico Socio
Via Lavoratori Autobianchi 1 
I-20832 Desio (MB)
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T. +39 0362 625 421
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P.IVA IT00222470130

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Porta Ticino Easy Stop SA
Via San Giorgio 37
CH-6877 Coldrerio

T. +41582119910
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