December 2014 Flash Report

GDP growth rates continue to diverge as Europe faces recession, Japan’s economy slumps from April’s consumption- tax increase, and China is grappling with an industrial slowdown. Meanwhile, the US economy is expanding at its fastest pace since the third quarter of 2003. American consumers—and the US economy—are benefitting from the global energy glut that has driven crude oil into a bear market, confirmed by third quarter GDP growth of 5%. Most oil producing countries, however, will face significant budget and social challenges as long as OPEC maintains current production levels and oil prices stay low.

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