Tracking the global economy. The International Monetary Fund released the first 2019 update to its World Economic Outlook, lowering its forecast for global gross domestic product growth 0.2 percentage points to 3.5 percent. According to the IMF, slowing industrial production and trade growth, combined with the fallout from the U.S.-China trade dispute, is responsible for the downgrade. China, meanwhile, released its latest GDP data, which put growth in the fourth quarter of 2018 at 6.4 percent and growth for the year at 6.5 percent. Leaving aside the inherent unreliability of Chinese data – many projections suggest Chinese GDP growth was much lower than Beijing reported – China’s growth rate for 2018 is the lowest observed since 1990, while the fourth-quarter figure is in line with that of the first quarter of 2009, right when the country was struggling to cope with the financial crisis.
Israel hits Iran – and wants the world to know it. The Israel Defense Forces said they