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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Headline economic indicators have hit their lowest levels since spring 2016 as the global economy sinks into a "synchronised stagnation" period, research by the Brookings Institution and the Financial Times published Sunday shows.

Why it matters: The Tracking Indexes for the Global Economic Recovery research shows weak growth in some major economies and "essentially no growth or even mild contraction" ahead of International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Washington, D.C., this week — the first with Kristalina Georgieva as the IMF’s new managing director.

  • The findings build on similar gloomy outlooks from the International Monetary Fund and the Institute of International Finance, which on Thursday lowered its growth forecast for 2019.

The big picture: Georgieva warned this month that the global economy "is now in a synchronized slowdown." The IMF now expects slower growth in 90% of the world and that "growth this year will fall to its lowest rate since the beginning of the decade."

  • Per Axios' Dion Rabouin, "The IMF and World Bank ... said they expect to write down their 2019 growth projections again — the third downward revision this year — at their meetings next week."

Yes, but: IIF deputy chief economist Elina Ribakova told Axios the organization remains upbeat on the outlook despite its revision, and it expects central banks to "continue easing against the backdrop of slowing growth and assume no further deterioration in trade tensions."

Read the Brookings data analysis:

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

Twitter sues Texas AG Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton at February's Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Twitter on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), saying that his office launched an investigation into the social media giant because it banned former President Trump from its platform.

Driving the news: Twitter is seeking to halt an investigation launched by Paxton into moderation practices by Big Tech firms including Twitter for what he called "the seemingly coordinated de-platforming of the President," days after they banned him following the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate retirements could attract GOP troublemakers

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt's retirement highlights the twin challenge facing Senate Republicans: finding good replacement candidates and avoiding a pathway for potential troublemakers to join their ranks.

Why it matters: While the midterm elections are supposed to be a boon to the party out of power, the recent run of retirements — which may not be over — is upending that assumption for the GOP in 2022.

Congressional diversity growing - slowly

Data: Brookings Institution and Pew Research Center; Note: No data on Native Americans in Congress before the 107th Congress; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The number of non-white senators and House members in the 535-seat Congress has been growing steadily in the past several decades — but representation largely lags behind the overall U.S. population.

Why it matters: Non-whites find it harder to break into the power system because of structural barriers such as the need to quit a job to campaign full time for office, as Axios reported in its latest Hard Truths Deep Dive.