EMPTY VESSELS'S SOUND
The White House on Friday stepped up criticism of China's deployment of an oil rig in the South China Sea, saying the move had complicated relations in the region and made peaceful resolution of territorial disputes more difficult.
"This is a provocative act, and it raises tensions in the region," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
China and Vietnam are locked in a dispute over contested waters that both claim as part of their territory. The standoff, which escalated after a state-run Chinese oil company positioned an oil rig in the area, has sparked riots in Vietnam and raised fears of a military conflict.
The U.S. hasn't taken a position on the nations' competing sovereignty claims in the region, Mr. Carney said, but said no country should resort to intimidation and threats.
"We're very concerned about dangerous conduct and intimidation by government-controlled assets operating in this area, and we call on all parties to conduct themselves in a safe and professional manner to preserve freedom of navigation and overflight, to exercise restraint, to take steps to lower tensions and to address competing sovereignty claims peacefully and in accordance with international law," Mr. Carney said.
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IMF - Within the next few years, the U.S. economy is expected to enter its longest expansion in recorded history. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the approved increase in spending are providing a significant boost to the economy. We forecast growth of close to 3 percent this year but falling from that level over the medium-term. In my discussions with Secretary Mnuchin he was clear that he regards our medium-term outlook as too pessimistic. Frankly, I hope he is right. That would be good for both the U.S. and the world economy.
IMF - The near-term outlook for the U.S. economy is one of strong growth and job creation. Unemployment is already near levels not seen since the late 1960s and growth is set to accelerate, aided by a near-term fiscal stimulus, a welcome recovery of private investment, and supportive financial conditions. These positive outturns have supported, and been reinforced by, a favorable external environment with a broad-based pick up in global activity. Next year, the U.S. economy is expected to mark the longest expansion in its recorded history. The balance of evidence suggests that the U.S. economy is beyond full employment.
U.S. FRB - Industrial production edged down 0.1 percent in May after rising 0.9 percent in April. Manufacturing production fell 0.7 percent in May, largely because truck assemblies were disrupted by a major fire at a parts supplier. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, factory output moved down 0.2 percent. The index for mining rose 1.8 percent, its fourth consecutive month of growth; the output of utilities moved up 1.1 percent. At 107.3 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 3.5 percent higher in May than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.2 percentage point in May to 77.9 percent, a rate that is 1.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.
IMF - South Africa’s potential is significant, yet growth over the past five years has not benefitted from the global recovery. The economy is globally positioned, sophisticated, and diversified, and several sectors—agribusiness, mining, manufacturing, and services—have capacity for expansion. Combined with strong institutions and a young workforce, opportunities are vast. However, several constraints have held growth back. Policy uncertainty and a regulatory environment not conducive to private investment have resulted in GDP growth rates that have not kept up with those of population growth, reducing income per capita, and hurting disproportionately the poor.