Germany’s leading economic institutes on Wednesday published their autumn report, which paints a more pessimistic forecast for the recovery of Europe’s largest economy than experts had predicted in their previous spring report.



a group of people sitting at a picnic table: 13 October 2020, Berlin: Unoccupied chairs of various open-air cafes and restaurants in Tauentzienstraße. Missing guests due to corona-related restrictions are causing the restaurateurs some trouble. Photo: Jens Kalaene/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB (Photo by Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images)


13 October 2020, Berlin: Unoccupied chairs of various open-air cafes and restaurants in Tauentzienstraße. Missing guests due to corona-related restrictions are causing the restaurateurs some trouble. Photo: Jens Kalaene/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB (Photo by Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The research institutes have revised their GDP forecasts downwards by a percentage point for both 2020 and 2021.

They now expect gross domestic product (GDP) to decline by 5.4% this year from the -4.2% they had forecast in Spring. For 2021, they expect growth of 4.7%, revised down from 5.8%. In 2022, economic output should increase by 2.7 %, they said.

“A good part of the slump from the spring has already been made up, but the remaining catching-up process represents

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Britain’s economy faces a double risk to recovery from a disorderly Brexit as the coronavirus pandemic drags down growth, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned.



a car parked on a sidewalk: The UK car industry and food and textiles producers could be hit hardest by a disorderly Brexit, suffering a fall in exports of more than 30%.


© The Guardian
The UK car industry and food and textiles producers could be hit hardest by a disorderly Brexit, suffering a fall in exports of more than 30%.

On the eve of a critical EU leaders’ summit in Brussels, the influential Paris-based thinktank said the Covid crisis would further complicate a disorderly Brexit as companies were less prepared for the end of the transition period, having diverted attention away from leaving the EU.

It warned that failure to secure a free trade agreement before the UK leaves the Brexit transition period at the end of December would leave the economy 6.5% lower in the next few years than would have been the case if existing arrangements with the EU had been

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* Dollar hits near one-week high

* Equities hit by halted vaccine trials, stimulus talks
impasse

* Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/

(Recasts, adds comments, updates prices)

By Brijesh Patel

Oct 14 (Reuters) – Gold firmed on Wednesday after last
session’s sharp drop spurred demand for the safe-haven metal
from investors worried about global economic recovery and
uncertainty surrounding next month’s U.S. presidential election.

Spot gold was up 0.2% to $1,895.41 per ounce by 0947
GMT, after shedding as much as 1.9% on Tuesday in reaction to
the dollar’s jump. U.S. gold futures gained 0.2% to
$1,899.20.

“We’re seeing some price recovery as lower prices generated
buying interest by investors since the general backdrop of gold
is still positive,” said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

“Low interest rates, expansion of monetary policy,
ballooning public debt, uncertainty regarding U.S. elections;
all these factors are supportive for gold prices,” he

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Falling interest rates took a painful toll on third-quarter profits at Bank of America and Wells Fargo, continuing to compress lending margins, overshadowing falling credit costs and improved results from the banks’ fee-based businesses.

On Wednesday, BofA and Wells reported third-quarter net profits of $4.8bn and $2bn, respectively — $1.3bn and $4.4bn higher than in the second quarter. Much of the improvement was down to lower provisions for bad loans, as the outlook for the American economy stabilises. 

Wells Fargo’s mortgage business had a bumper quarter behind a wave of home refinancings, and Bank of America saw fees rise in its credit card business. Investment banking fees were strong at both banks, reflecting a strong environment for public offerings and mergers.

None of this was enough to offset damage done by falling interest rates, however. Net interest income (total revenue from interest-bearing assets, less interest paid for financing) fell 7

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Advertising figures with a protective face masks in Munich, Germany.

Lennart Preiss | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Germany’s economic prospects for 2020 are looking increasingly bleak, with the country’s leading research institutes downgrading GDP (gross domestic product) forecasts for this year and beyond.

Publishing a joint economic forecast Wednesday, Germany’s prominent economists warned that the coronavirus pandemic is leaving what they called “substantial marks” on the German economy, adding that “its impact is more persistent than assumed in spring.”

They revised their economic outlook downward by roughly one percentage point for both 2020 and 2021. They now expect GDP to fall by 5.4% in 2020 (lower than a previous -4.2% forecast) and to grow by 4.7% (less than a previously forecast 5.8%) in 2021, and 2.7% in 2022.

The “Joint Economic Forecast” is published twice a year on behalf of the German Economy Ministry and is prepared by

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China’s President Xi Jinping praised the tech-hub city of Shenzhen in a landmark speech on Wednesday, leaving some puzzling over the future of nearby Hong Kong, as China’s traditional global foothold.

Xi said Shenzhen, often dubbed China’s Silicon Valley and home to tech giants Huawei and Tencent, was making “historic leaps” and “achieving miracles.”

He also announced that the area would be given more leeway to pursue opening-up reforms and become a “model city for a strong socialist country.”

Once a small fishing village adjacent to Hong Kong, Shenzhen is now home to about 13 million and was transformed in 1980 by veteran Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, after he designated it a “Special Economic Zone,” carving out capitalist privileges in the staunchly communist country.

Retracing Deng’s footprints 40 years later during his own southern tour this week, Xi announced Shenzhen would again become a testing ground for foreign investment and

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By Tobias Adrian, Financial Counsellor and Director of the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Despite a global economic crisis comparable only to the Great Depression, near-term financial stability risks have been contained with the help of unprecedented monetary policy easing and massive fiscal support across the globe. But many economies had pre-existing vulnerabilities – which are now intensifying, representing potential headwinds to the recovery.

Extraordinary policy measures have stabilized markets, boosted investors’ sentiment, and maintained the flow of credit to the global economy. Critically, these measures helped prevent a slowing economy and sliding financial markets from feeding on each other in a destructive vicious cycle.

The rebound in asset prices and the easing in global financial conditions have benefited not only advanced economies, but also emerging markets. In addition, unlike in previous crises, emerging markets this time were also able to respond by cutting policy rates, injecting liquidity and,

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That mindless growth, Hickel and his fellow degrowth believers contend, is very bad both for the planet and for our spiritual well-being. We need, Hickel writes, to develop “new theories of being” and rethink our place in the “living world.” (Hickel goes on about intelligent plants and their ability to communicate, which is both controversial botany and confusing economics.) It’s tempting to dismiss it all as being more about social engineering of our lifestyles than about actual economic reforms. 

Though Hickel, an anthropologist, offers a few suggestions (“cut advertising” and “end planned obsolescence”), there’s little about the practical steps that would make a no-growth economy work. Sorry, but talking about plant intelligence won’t solve our woes; it won’t feed hungry people or create well-paying jobs. 

Still, the degrowth movement does have a point: faced with climate change and the financial struggles of many workers, capitalism isn’t getting it done. 

Slow

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwo ethics groups call on House to begin impeachment inquiry against Barr Trump relishes return to large rallies following COVID-19 diagnosis McGrath: McConnell ‘can’t get it done’ on COVID-19 relief MORE‘s economic adviser Stephen MooreStephen MooreSunday shows – Coronavirus stimulus, Barrett hearings share spotlight Stephen Moore doubts need for T stimulus, predicting US economic growth On The Money: Trump gambles with new stimulus strategy | Trump cannot block grand jury subpoena for his tax returns, court rules | Long-term jobless figures rise, underscoring economic pain MORE earlier this month called the president’s debate performance “crappy” following the first debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenMcConnell challenger dodges court packing question ‘Hamilton’ cast to reunite for Biden fundraiser Trump relishes return to large rallies following COVID-19 diagnosis MORE.

“It was not a great performance by Trump; in fact, I thought it was

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Boxes of hardware at a Fastenal distribution center in Pennsylvania


Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Fastenal’s quarterly earnings report, which sent shares of the industrial distributor sharply lower on Tuesday morning, makes a difference beyond the implications for the stock itself.

Fastenal (ticker: FAST) is one of the earliest industrial companies to report numbers. Larger, better-known industrial companies start disclosing their third quarter earnings in a couple of weeks.

More important, Fastenal is a distributor of thousands of small, lower- priced items used by businesses around the U.S. every day. Its sales trends are a good, real-time indicator of what is going on at the shop-floor level. The figures offer clues for investors about the coming earnings season and about the health of the U.S. economy.

“I find Fastenal to be a great bellwether for the industrial side of the U.S. economy,” said Peter Boockvar, Chief Investment Officer at Bleakley Advisory

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