Oct 16, 2019

Global economic uncertainty hits a 20-year high

Reproduced from IIF; Chart: Axios Visuals

Uncertainty over both global trade and the global economy is at its highest point in more than 20 years, the Institute of International Finance reports, citing the latest readings of the World Uncertainty Index.

Why it matters: "It is a striking exhibit," IIF deputy director Emre Tiftik tells Axios in an email. "Trade uncertainty is implicitly included in the global uncertainty. However, its weight in the global uncertainty is small. And one can conclude that the sharp rise in trade uncertainty is a major factor keeping global uncertainty at elevated levels."

  • What it means: The index tracks the frequency of the word “uncertainty” in the quarterly Economist Intelligence Unit country reports. The World Uncertainty Index has spiked after the 9/11 attack, SARS outbreak and following the second Gulf War, the Euro debt crisis, El Niño, European border crisis, U.K. Brexit vote and the 2016 U.S. election.

Go deeper: A synchronized global slowdown

Go deeper

Equity and M&A deals plummet in tough Q3

Adapted from S&P Global; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. and global dealmaking slowed significantly in the third quarter, with equity and merger and acquisition announcements "plummeting" year over year and quarter over quarter, according to the latest data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

By the numbers: The global total value raised from equity deals fell 37.1% quarter over quarter and 29.4% year over year to $91.85 billion.

Go deeperArrowNov 7, 2019

The bad news about historically low unemployment

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wednesday's productivity report is the latest sign that historically low U.S. unemployment may be indicating a sick, rather than a healthy economy.

What's happening: As uncertainty has increased over the U.S-China trade war and other geopolitical events, companies that have the capacity to invest in new equipment, technology or factories are holding off and hiring workers to pick up extra slack instead.

Go deeperArrowNov 7, 2019

The trade war is killing U.S.-China business deals

Data: PitchBook; Chart: Axios Visuals

Global mergers and acquisitions activity is poised to slow this year and next, but nowhere has M&A activity been slowed like the pace of deals between the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: "M&A has been one of the areas hit hardest by the trade war, with deal value for North American target companies with a Chinese acquirer on pace to fall by over 90% since peaking in 2016," a new report from PitchBook finds.

Go deeperArrowOct 24, 2019