German, United Kingdom Growth Rates Slow
- While analysts had expected a slight expansion in the German economy at the end of last year, the country actually clocked zero growth in the last quarter due – in part – to the impact of U.S. tariffs on German steel makers. Germany’s economic output shrank by 0.2 percent in the third quarter.
- According to The Wall Street Journal, the United Kingdom’s economy experienced its weakest growth in six years during 2018 due to the waning businesses cut investment that is a result of the uncertainty about the way the country will leave the European Union. (The United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union on March 29, but it is unclear whether it will have a transition period maintaining the status quo while a new agreement is negotiated, or will immediately shift to a new regime of tariffs dictated by the World Trade Organization.)
- American Metal Market (AMM, subscription required) reported last week that Chinese finished steel exports rose 11.3 percent between December 2018 and January 2019 and more than 33 percent between January 2018 and January 2019.