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In the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, representatives from every nation and from the world’s largest businesses have gathered together to discuss new developments, problems, and initiatives around the world. The first two days of this year’s summit featured an address from Brazil’s recently elected president Jair Bolsonaro, discussion on shale oil by John Hess of Hess Corporation, and discussion of the IMF’s lower prospects on 2019’s economic growth.

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Recent reports published by the World Trade Organization (WTO) have forecast a remarkable recovery in global merchandise trade for 2017. Last year, global merchandise trade failed to reach its projected growth of 1.7%, ending the year with a growth of 1.3%, marking 2016 with the slowest growth since the financial crisis. Among other indicators, WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo blamed the poor performance in 2016 on the slowdown in emerging markets, stating that imports hardly grew in volume terms. However, the six-year trend of disappointing growth may be coming to an end as the world economy gradually begins to regain momentum. In a report released on April 12th, the WTO predicts a 2.4% growth in global merchandise trade by the end of this year, stating that, for the first time in several years all regions of the world economy should experience a synchronized upturn in 2017. 

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China has been one of the largest economies in the world for many years, however its place near the top has been impacted in recent times because of its currency. The yuan, the national currency for China, has been depreciating in value and will continue to do so into the first quarter of 2017. This decline has been the biggest for the Chinese yuan in the last two decades. For the past 14 consecutive months, money has been leaving China, causing a slump in the nation’s central banks. About 1.1 trillion dollars of foreign currency has vacated the country since China devalued the yuan in 2015.

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The International Monetary Fund has lowered its global outlook for the 2016-2017 year, despite a fairly strong performance during 2016. The U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union has led to uncertainty macro economically and may lead to a negative impact due to damaging investor confidence and market sentiment. The IMF is projecting that the advanced economies will hold steady with growth at 1.8% for both 2016 and 2017, and the overall global growth is projected to increase by 3.1% in 2016, 3.4% in 2017.

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By 2050, the world’s population will have grown by 32%, but the working age population (ages 15-64) will have only expanded by 26%. Amongst the more advanced economies, by 2050, the working age population will have shrunk 26% in South Korea, 23% in both Germany and Italy, and 28% in Japan. India’s population is expected to grow by 33%, however Russia and China’s working population will contract by 21%.