USA: Slowdown in retail, improvement on the real estate market, mixed signals on the labour market. Europe: Momentum remains weak, but initial glimpses of hope and a surprising interest rate cut. China: Growth target of 5% unrealistic, and announced fiscal measures remain vague.

Chart of the month

graphic shows Seizures of unauthorised persons at the border, figures extrapolated for fiscal year 2024

In the USA, immigration pressure has increased significantly during the Biden presidency, particularly from Latin America. Border guards apprehended six times more people without a residence permit in 2023 than in 2020. Many illegal border crossings are successful, however, and the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that illegal immigration amounted to 2.4 million people in 2023 alone, many times the pre-pandemic level. This immigration surge is likely to have contributed to the unexpectedly robust economic growth in 2023. Immigration will also be a key campaign issue, and could cost the Democrats votes.

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