“Globally there’s been a slowdown,” Hiroaki Muto, chief economist at Tokai Tokyo Research Center. “The fundamentals are still firm, but compared to last year manufacturing momentum is weaker and the pace is slower.”

In the U.S. however, the economy’s strength is such that Fed officials on Wednesday forecast a steeper path of rate hikes in 2019 and 2020 because of an improving outlook. They project three increases in total this year. A survey of purchasing managers in the manufacturing sector expanded more that forecast in March and Americans’ outlook for the economy climbed to match the highest level since 2002.

The Bank of England is also poised for a tightening phase. On Thursday, policy makers moved closer to raising interest rates as early as May, with two of them outvoted in a bid to already increase the benchmark this month. A report earlier showed retail sales rose more than economists expected.

“The global economic outlook has continued to improve since we last met in October 2017, with the broadest synchronized global growth upsurge since 2010, and a pickup in investment and trade,” G-20 finance ministers said in their communique this week. Still, “downside risks persist.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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