The economic background [September 1999]

Low, Kenneth and Ashcroft, Brian and Swales, Kim (1999) The economic background [September 1999]. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 24 (4). pp. 1-5. ISSN 0306-7866

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Overall the outlook for the world economy has improved although most short and long-term interest rates in the major financial markets have increased slightly. These changes were undoubtedly based on the US rise in interest rates from 4.75% to 5% at the end of June. Within the Euro area there has been a strengthening of growth while inflation remained low and interest rates did not change. Japanese GDP increased by 1.9% in 1999ql which was a welcome sign. The increase in growth may however be attributed to the fiscal stimulus the economy has received. Oil prices have increased significantly although most other commodity prices showed little change.