Did the global economy slow significantly at the end of 2018?

We asked the question whether the economic winter was upon us in November. The global economy was already cooling back then but have things further deteriorated?

Japan and Germany GDP shrank in the third quarter (Q3 2018) and China GDP growth fell significantly. That meant that 3 of the world’s 4 largest economies were already slowing. Are things getting worse?

Here’s a list of some economic indicators released since then:

  • Corporate earnings downgrades and profit warnings made in December and January have been the most since 2008
  • Jaguar Land Rover confirmed 4,500 job cuts
  • Ford to cut thousands of jobs
  • UK car sales fell in 2018 by most since financial crisis (2018 down 6.8% vs 2017)
  • German car sales fell 6.7% in December and 0.2% for full year 2018 vs 2017
  • China car sales fell 6% in 2018 (vs 2017), the first time in 20 years
  • UK retail businesses experienced their worst Christmas in a decade, according to the British Retail Consortium
  • Apple slashed revenue guidance, said iPhone sales are weak in China (Apple lowered revenue guidance to $84 billion, down from the $89 billion to $93 billion it had previously projected)
  • Samsung Q4 guidance – Profit 18% less vs expectations, a 29% drop in quarterly profit
  • LG Electronics expects Q4 operating profit likely fell 80% vs year ago
  • German industrial production fell by 1.9% cent in November, the third straight month of decline despite predictions that it would increase by 0.3% (Germany would enter a recession if Q4 GDP is negative)
  • French industrial production declined by 1.3% in November
  • Few U.S. retailers including Macy’s have cut revenue and profit guidance
  • Delta Air Lines warned about weaker than expected sales and fares at the end of 2018 and cut revenue guidance for the second time in two months

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