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Quarterly ForecastsJun 29, 2020 | 00:02 GMT
2020 Third-Quarter Forecast
While many of the trends identified in our annual forecast remain slowed down by COVID-19, their pace is picking up as countries carefully emerge from lockdown.
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AssessmentsJun 26, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A picture shows the Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Kramim in the West Bank on June 18, 2020.
Israel's Annexation Plans Will Leave It in Need of New Allies
Israel's impending annexations in the West Bank will not spark immediate international backlash, but growing pro-Palestine sentiment in the United States and Europe will ultimately leave it politically and economically isolated in the long term. This will lead Israel to seek increased partnerships with countries whose citizens and politicians are less invested in the prospect of a Palestinian state, such as Russia and China, though doing so will come at the risk of further stoking U.S. ire. 
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SnapshotsJun 25, 2020 | 18:08 GMT
The U.S.-EU Trade War Is Poised to Intensify
The U.S.-EU trade war continues to brew and could see Brussels and Washington move forward with more tariffs through the rest of the year, even as both sides reckon with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. On June 24, the U.S. Trade Representative's office published a list for the public comment outlining $4.3 billion worth of European products that could be subject to new tariffs as early as August. This latest escalation is part of its 16-year dispute between Washington and Brussels over government subsidies to the U.S.-based aircraft maker Boeing and its chief European rival, Airbus. Trade negotiations between the United States and European Union have already been virtually non-existent this year, due in part to the pandemic, as well as major disagreements on issues [such as agriculture. Even if they do occur, last-minute trade talks to try to avert the escalation over aircraft subsidies will thus likely fail, as both sides
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AssessmentsJun 16, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An image depicting the global economy.
Trump’s War Against Taxing Tech Goes Global
With international negotiations stalled, many governments are choosing to unilaterally implement digital services taxes (DSTs). The United States -- which is home to the majority of tech giants that would be subject to such taxes, including Amazon, Apple and Google -- is using the threat of tariffs to both limit the global expansion of DSTs and push international negotiations toward the proposed reforms it backs. But with so many countries against Washington's preferred outcome, which critics say would allow U.S. tech companies to opt out of tax obligations in international markets, the risk of negotiations failing to reach an agreement this year is high, as is the risk of the United States implementing tariffs on its growing number of trade partners implementing DSTs. 
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SnapshotsJun 15, 2020 | 17:11 GMT
Despite ‘Intensified’ EU-U.K. Trade Talks, a No-Deal Brexit Remains Possible
The U.K. government’s decision to officially forgo extending its membership in the EU single market beyond Dec. 31 has increased the probability of no-deal Brexit on Jan. 1, but a limited trade agreement remains possible given Brussels and London’s mutual desire to avoid further economic disruption in light of the COVID-19 crisis. On June 15, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a virtual meeting with the presidents of the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament in an attempt to unblock EU-U.K. negotiations. According to an EU press release, Johnson confirmed that the United Kingdom will not seek to remain in the bloc’s single market in 2021. But during the meeting, he and EU leaders also agreed on the need to “intensify” talks and secure “new momentum” toward reaching a deal by increasing the frequency of trade negotiations from monthly to weekly. There are still significant obstacles, however, to
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ReflectionsJun 10, 2020 | 17:06 GMT
A woman walks past closed shopfronts in what would be a normally busy fashion district in Los Angeles, California, on May 4, 2020.
Conflicting Data Muddies the U.S. Economic Outlook
The United States and other governments around the world face difficult policy decisions on fiscal stimulus amid great uncertainty regarding the course of their economies in light of the global COVID-19 crisis. But as evidenced by the conflicting data in the latest jobs report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it's proving difficult to find numbers and models that are both timely and use reliable data in order to gauge when economies will begin coming out of recovery on their own. Economic forecasts will be increasingly put under the microscope, making it important to understand what these predictions do and don't tell us.
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AssessmentsMay 27, 2020 | 16:31 GMT
A statue depicting the euro is pictured outside the headquarters of the European Central Bank, which serves as the central bank of the 19 EU countries within the eurozone, in Frankfurt, Germany.
Will COVID-19 Be the Eurozone’s Undoing?
COVID-19 will saddle the eurozone with financial and political risks for years to come, testing the economic and institutional resilience of the currency area. High debt and deficit levels will increase the probability of sovereign defaults, especially in Southern Europe, as high unemployment levels create fertile ground for social unrest and the resurgence of destabilizing nationalist and anti-establishment political parties across the Continent. 
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SnapshotsMay 12, 2020 | 16:09 GMT
COVID-19 Puts EU Defense Spending in Doubt
On May 12, the chief executive of the European Defence Agency, Jiri Sedivy, said the bloc will probably reduce defense spending in its budget for the 2021-2027 period as EU governments focus their resources on dealing with the economic fallout from the pandemic. After the 2016 Brexit referendum, a group of countries led by France pushed for deeper defense cooperation in the European Union to reduce the bloc’s military reliance on the United States, streamline defense spending by pooling resources, and better prepare Europe for geopolitical challenges in the 21st century, which include an emerging China and a potentially aggressive Russia. But Europe’s deepening recession due to COVID-19 has now put these plans in doubt as governments increasingly prioritize stimulus measures, such as granting cheap loans for companies and providing greater financial assistance to low-income households.
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On GeopoliticsMay 10, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A mother takes photos with her baby under cherry blossoms in full bloom in Tokyo, Japan, on March 29, 2015.
The Geopolitics of Postmodern Parenting
During the two months I recently spent away from work to fulfill my demographic duty, I found that most of my conversations with visitors followed the same pattern. The talk quickly turned from the standard cooing over my baby girl to an intensive debate over parental leave: how much time and flexibility to grant new parents in the workforce, how to reconcile career ambitions with the responsibilities of human procreation, how to compensate for the crazy cost of child care and how to boost birthrates. As a white-collar, taxpaying working mother in the United States, I had become one of the statistics I used to pore over as an analyst pondering the implications of aging and shrinking populations. But you don't have to be a parent -- or an analyst, for that matter -- to care about this stuff. In fact, a lot of the global angst today over stagnant economic
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AssessmentsMay 6, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An image displays rows of silicon wafers.
The U.S. Weaponizes COVID-19 Anger Against China’s Tech Sector
The United States and China have been locked in a technology cold war for several years. The COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, is now pressuring Washington to make even stronger moves against Beijing by fueling anti-China sentiment among U.S. voters and legislators alike. But the White House’s latest attempt to increase export controls on China and limit Beijing's overall access to U.S. technology will come at the cost of further fragmenting the global tech sector’s highly integrated supply chain network. 
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AssessmentsMay 5, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Containers sit stacked on a cargo ship berthed at China’s Zhoushan Port on Feb. 4, 2020.
COVID-19 Will Leave a Lasting Mark on the Shipping Industry
By sapping global economic growth and emboldening nationalist calls against globalization, the COVID-19 crisis risks upending the past 30 years of rising intercontinental trade volumes. Countries have implemented various new shipping restrictions to contain the virus, though pandemic-induced declines in demand have so far prevented severe disruptions. But with the global recession likely to extend well into 2021, the long-term loss of business -- exacerbated by a surge in U.S.-China trade tensions and security concerns over global supply chains -- could cripple the shipping industry for years to come. In the meantime, the oversupply of container shipping capacity will force companies around the world to consolidate as their governments increasingly opt for more protectionist policies.
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AssessmentsApr 29, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A pro-Brexit banner is seen outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Oct. 30. 2019.
The Scramble to Secure EU-U.K. Trade Ties Amid COVID-19
Time is running out for the European Union and the United Kingdom to reach a free trade agreement before Britain's scheduled exit from the EU single market on Jan. 1, 2021. The second round of negotiations, which ended on April 24, failed to produce significant progress. This leaves only two more rounds of scheduled talks before London has to decide whether to extend its participation in the single market in late June, lest risk having to trade with the European Union under costly World Trade Organization (WTO) tariffs starting next year. As both sides reckon with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis, a limited trade agreement that preserves the status quo of U.K.-EU trade relations as much as possible, or an extension of London's membership in the single market, will become increasingly likely in order to avoid a disruptive "hard" exit that neither Brussels nor Britain can afford. 
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AssessmentsApr 28, 2020 | 11:00 GMT
A Chinese navy formation, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning (C), during military drills Jan. 2, 2017, in the South China Sea.
Even a Pandemic Does not Stop the South China Sea Competition
Numerous reports have raised fears that China is taking advantage of U.S. distraction and the sidelining of two U.S. aircraft carriers in the Pacific due to the COVID-19 pandemic. China had made similar accusations against the United States earlier this year, claiming Washington was exploiting China's pandemic response to advance its own containment strategy. And both are correct in that the pandemic does not appear to have slowed down Chinese or U.S. activities in the region.
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