- As was strongly anticipated by the market, the US Fed lifted the funds rate to 1.5% in mid-December.
- The US economy appears to be operating near capacity, with an unemployment rate of just 4.1% and an underemployment rate of 8% – the lowest since 2006.
- The recovery in Europe continues to defy expectations, with no sign of confidence diminishing despite political uncertainty in Germany and Spain.
- The Chinese economy has also exceeded expectations in 2017, expanding by just under 7% in the first three quarters.
- The Australian economy is being impacted by weak wages growth, but December saw an encouraging jump in consumer sentiment.
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