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The economic background [June 1999]

Low, Kenneth and Ashcroft, Brian and Swales, Kim (1999) The economic background [June 1999]. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 24 (3). pp. 1-6. ISSN 0306-7866

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The world economy continues to be in a state of flux after the recent financial crises. The NAFTA economies are performing well with strong growth (up 4% last year) and low inflation but the slowdown in Euro Area persists while the Japanese economy remains in recession. The latter is forecast to see output decline by 1.5% this year having already shown a fall of 3% in 1998. Growth is expected to slow considerably in Latin America while there is virtually no institution that is optimistic about the situation in Russia. There are signs of recovery in the Asian economies however and this is encouraging news. The continued fall in commodity prices and falling producer prices has kept inflation subdued on a global basis. The oil price has risen slightly recently but is not likely to contribute to inflation significantly.