US Current Affairs
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The World Bank has released the Global Economic Prospects report 2019 titled “Darkening Skies”. The key findings of the report are:
- Growth among advanced economies is expected to drop to 2 per cent this year.
- Slowing external demand, rising borrowing costs and persistent policy uncertainties may weigh on the outlook for Emerging Market and Developing Economies (EMDE). As result growth rates of this group are anticipated to hold steady at a weaker-than-expected 4.2 per cent this year.
- South Asia is expected to grow at 7.1 per cent in 2019 driven by strengthening investment and robust consumption. Much of the contribution would come from India.
- The growth rate of Pakistan is anticipated to slow to 3.7 per cent in 2018-19 as financial conditions tighten in the face of rising inflation and external vulnerabilities.
- Bangladesh is expected to register a growth of 7 per cent in 2018-19, Sri Lanka is expected to speed up slightly to 4 per cent in 2019, and Nepal’s growth is expected to slow to 5.9 per cent in FY 2018-19.
- The report warns that if a trade war between the US and China leads to a global slowdown, the spillover effects on the emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) could be profound.
- The report underlines the importance of “rebuild policy buffers” for EMDEs while underscoring the need of laying a stronger foundation for future growth by boosting human capital, promoting trade integration, and addressing the challenges associated with informality.
- The global growth rates are moderating as the recovery in trade and manufacturing activity loses steam.
- Trade tensions among major economies combined with concerns about softening global growth prospects, have weighed on investor sentiment and contributed to declines in global equity prices.
- The report states that Growth in the US will continue to be supported by fiscal stimulus. As a result, there would be larger and more persistent fiscal deficits.
- Even though the probability of a recession in the United States is still low and the slowdown in China is projected to be gradual, markedly weaker-than-expected activity in the world’s two largest economies will have a severe impact on global economic prospects.
- The report warns that sharper-than-expected tightening of global financing conditions, or a renewed rapid appreciation of the US dollar, could exert further downward pressure on activity in EMDEs, due to large current account deficits financed by portfolio and bank flows.
- The report estimates that if all tariffs under consideration were implemented, they would affect about 5% of global trade flows and could dampen growth in the economies involved, leading to negative global spillovers.
The World Bank has warned that the projected gradual deceleration of global economic activity over the forecast horizon could be more severe than expected because of the predominance of substantial downside risks.
Elon Musk-led SpaceX has successfully launched 64 small satellites into low Earth orbit onboard of its reusable and preflown Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This has set new record in United States of launching satellites in single go. It was third voyage of Falcon 9 rocket, marking another milestone in SpaceX’s cost-cutting reusable rocket technology.
The 64 small satellites included 49 CubeSats and 15 micro-satellites belonging to 34 different clients including public, private and university sources from 17 different countries across the world including South Korea, France and Kazakhstan. The microsatellites weighed few dozen kilograms and CubeSats weighed even smaller. Among launched satellites, one was sculpture called “Orbital Reflector” by artist Trevor Paglen, sent by Nevada Museum of Art and it was not scientific missions.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) holds record for the most satellite launch in single flight. It had launched 104 satellites in one go using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C37) rocket.
It is private US space agency. It was founded by Elon Musk on May 6, 2002 who is its current CEO of Space X. Its main purpose for its establishment was to reduce cost of space transport and establish human habitation on Mars house. Space X has developed series of Falcon Rockets. To reduce cost of internal transport, the space company has created re-usable rockets. Majority of these rockets are also used in other launches.