News from Around the World

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U.K. Economy Shrinks for First Time Since 2012 as Brexit Worries Take a Toll


LONDON—The British economy unexpectedly contracted in the second quarter as uncertainty over the country’s planned departure from the European Union on Oct. 31 took its toll on business confidence.

World Economy Edges Closer to Recession as Trade Woes Spread


The escalating trade war between the U.S. and China is nudging the world economy toward its first recession in a decade with investors demanding politicians and central bankers act fast to change course.

 

© AP

US Treasury officially labels China a currency manipulator


The Trump administration has officially labelled China a “currency manipulator” after the Chinese central bank allowed the renminbi to fall below a key threshold, marking a dramatic escalation in the trade war between the two economic powers.

The US Treasury announced its decision after financial markets closed on Monday. It came just hours after President Donald Trump again accused China of weakening its currency to create an unfair trade advantage.

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Morgan Stanley: If the trade war escalates, a recession will be here in 9 months


If the U.S. continues to raise a wall of tariffs on Chinese goods in the coming months and China responds, expect a global recession in three quarters, Morgan Stanley said Monday.

“As we view the risk of further escalation as high, the risks to the global outlook are decidedly skewed to the downside,” Morgan Stanley chief economist Chetan Ahya said.

PHOTO: JASON LEE/REUTERS

Tariff Fight Costs China Spot as Top U.S. Trading Partner


WASHINGTON—Escalating tariff disputes between Washington and Beijing cost China its position as the U.S.’s top trading partner in the first half of the year, as exports and imports between the two largest economies fell sharply.

(Bloomberg)

Europeans Going Round in Circles on IMF Job as Irritation Grows


European finance ministers will hold a call on Thursday to discuss who should take over the top job at the International Monetary Fund. The discord over who they’ll put forward could threaten the continent’s claim to the post.

EU governments have so far failed to rally behind a single candidate to replace Christine Lagarde atop the Washington-based IMF and the frustration is palpable across capitals.

Credit: Lexey Swall for The New York Times

The Fed Just Cut Interest Rates. Here’s What That Means for You.


Americans juggle a lot of interest rates in their daily lives. They pay interest on car loans, credit card balances and mortgages. They earn interest, at least a little, on the money they save with banks.

© Javier Lira/NOTIMEX/dpa

López Obrador takes on Mexico’s institutions


Standing beside a sugar cane farmer who uses a wooden, horse-drawn press to squeeze juice into a plastic bucket, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador gave a demonstration of his economic world view.

On a visit to La Huasteca last week, near the Bajío region that is Mexico’s high-tech manufacturing powerhouse, the leftwing nationalist president — who prides himself on not having a checking account or credit card — extolled the virtues of artisanal microbusinesses that he said were “as or more important” in terms of job creation and development than big business.

CNBC Getty Images

Next IMF chief must be ‘ready to go to war’ – trade and currency, strategist says


The next head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will have to deal with trade wars, currency manipulation and new digital currencies, a strategist told CNBC Monday.

PHOTO: JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES

U.S. Economy Grew at 2.1% Rate in Second Quarter


WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy grew at a healthy clip in the second quarter as higher consumer spending offset a decline in business investment, keeping the decadelong expansion on track despite trade tensions and cooling global activity.

Gross domestic product, a broad measure of goods and services produced across the economy, rose at a 2.1% annual rate in the second quarter, adjusted for seasonality and inflation, the Commerce Department said Friday.