A pledge by the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, for a massive spending spree of all types of US debt failed to put the brake on the global stock market sell-off, suggesting that investors are looking for huge government spending programmes and not just market-calming initiatives by central banks.
Irish economic growth will grind to a halt and unemployment will creep above 5% this year under Italy-style quarantines to control the Covid-19 outbreak here, the Economic and Social Research Institute has projected in new forecasts.
The week ahead may be pivotal for investors and businesses monitoring the deadly coronavirus outbreak — including Irish companies whose supply chains stretch into China — as they scramble to understand whether the economic fallout will be long-lasting.
Last year, monetary policy returned to an easing mode, in response to a marked slowdown in global growth, and the IMF estimates that the monetary easing added 0.5% to world growth in 2019.
This year’s World Economic Forum, in Davos, kicks off against a backdrop of growing pessimism — with the IMF saying global growth appears to have bottomed out with no rebound in sight; and CEO confidence in the world’s economy hitting a record low.
Putting aside angels-on-a-pinhead arguments about the actual year in which a decade expires and a new one commences — is it January 1, 2020, or 12 months on in 2021 and, anyway, who really cares? — what we hope will be the peace and quiet of St Stephen’s Day brings an opportunity to reflect not only on the country’s 2019 but also on aspects of the Dáil’s less-than-adequate performance since 2010.