USA Current Affairs - 2020

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World Bank’s Global Economic Prospect: World Economic Growth projected at 2.5%

On January 9, 2020, the World Bank released its Global Economic Prospect. According to its forecast, the world is expected to grow economically at the rate of 2.5%. This is the lowest prediction since that predicted in 2008-09, 3.1%. By then, the global financial crisis derailed the economy.

Highlights

The report says that investment and trade in the country is expected to recover. However, the downward risks from 2019 are to continue. It also said that the advanced economies are to slip their growth by 1.4% as the manufacturing sector continues to soften.

The emerging markets in the developing economies are to witness acceleration in their growth according to the report. However, this is not applicable to all. A third of developing countries are expected to decelerate this year. Predominantly the growing economies are located in South and South East Asia.

South Asia

Growth in South Asia is expected to rise by 5.5% in 2020. The report predicts India’s growth rate at 5%. It is expected that the credit from non-banking companies to expected to weaken. The report also says that India will see a growth rate of 5.5% in the subsequent year.

The United States is expected to grow at 1.8% and European Union is projected to slip its growth by 1% in 2020.

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Laurentino Cortizo elected new President of Panama

Panama’s Electoral Court declared the centre-left candidate Laurentino Cortizo as winner of Panama’s presidential election. Cortizo is candidate for Panama’s Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), which won 33% of 95% of votes counted. The PRD was founded in 1979  by military ruler Omar Torrijos and has been out of power since 2009.

About Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo

  • He is a 66-year-old cattleman who was educated in US. He has earlier served as country’s minister of agriculture and also held roles at regional Organisation of American States, and worked in construction and livestock sectors.
  • His presidential campaign focused on combating inequality and corruption, rising unemployment, Panama’s education system, state of water utilities and rubbish collection in capital, Panama City and slowing economic growth in this Central America trade and financial hub.

About Panama

  • It is a Central America country located on Isthmus of Panama (narrow bridge of land connecting North and South America).
  • It is a tropical nation renowned as site of Panama Canal (which cuts through its midsection and connects Atlantic and Pacific Oceans).
  • It lies between Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.
  • Its national currency is ‘the balboa’. It is issued only in coins. The balboa is at par with U.S. dollar, and U.S. paper currency is freely circulated.

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