Moody’s keeps G20 growth forecast for 2017 but warns of geopolitical risks

Moody’s cut its forecast for the US to 2.2 percent in 2017, citing its weaker-than-expected first half performance and expectations of more modest fiscal stimulus. (Reuters)
Updated 30 August 2017
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Moody’s keeps G20 growth forecast for 2017 but warns of geopolitical risks

HONG KONG: Moody’s Investors Service kept its forecast for G20 economic growth at just over 3 percent for this year and next, but warned of geopolitical risks, US protectionism and spillovers from global monetary tightening and China’s deleveraging measures.
The ratings agency said surprisingly strong data in the first half of the year prompted it to raise 2017 growth forecasts for China to 6.8 percent from 6.6 percent, for South Korea to 2.8 percent from 2.5 percent, and for Japan to 1.5 percent from 1.1 percent.
It also expected the euro zone to accelerate in the rest of the year as suggested by robust sentiment indicators and revised upwards its forecasts for Germany, France and Italy.
The agency cut its forecast for the US, however, to 2.2 percent in 2017 and 2.3 percent in 2018 from a previous 2.4 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, citing its weaker-than-expected first half performance and expectations of more modest fiscal stimulus than previously assumed.
“The balance of risks is more favorable than it was at the beginning of the year,” Moody’s said. “However, we note event risks related to conflicts in the Korean Peninsula, the South China Sea, and the Middle East.”
“The test firing of missiles by North Korea, intensification of aggressive rhetoric on both sides, and a hard-line stance from the Trump administration have raised the risk of a conflict in the Korean Peninsula.”
The agency also said there appeared to be “renewed momentum” to address bilateral trade issues that the Donald Trump administration deemed as unfair trade practices, which could hurt growth if wide-ranging measures were introduced.
For markets, it warned of risks of increased volatility due to historically elevated asset prices and broad investor expectations that interest rates would remain low even as the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank said they were preparing to start rolling back unconventional stimulus.
While raising its China forecasts, the agency warned the economy has become increasingly reliant on new debt to foster growth. The agency downgraded China’s ratings by one notch to A1 in May, saying the financial strength of the economy would erode in coming years.
The agency revised its India forecast slightly lower to 7.1 percent as the government’s demonetization move last year led to several months of acute shortages for manufacturing and construction firms in particular, although it said it expected the impact to ease in coming months.


French drugmaker Sanofi, Google to use data tech for innovations

Updated 18 June 2019
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French drugmaker Sanofi, Google to use data tech for innovations

  • Sanofi and Google will use data sets to improve their understanding of key diseases and extract patients’ insights and feedback
  • The partnership will be “combining Sanofi’s biologic innovations and scientific data with Google’s industry-leading capabilities”

PARIS: French health care company Sanofi has teamed up with Google to work on innovations, aimed at using emerging data technologies to change how medicines and health services will be delivered in future.
Sanofi and Google will use data sets to improve their understanding of key diseases and extract patients’ insights and feedback, the companies said in a joint statement.
“Combining Sanofi’s biologic innovations and scientific data with Google’s industry-leading capabilities, from cloud computing to state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, we aspire to give people more control over their health and accelerate the discovery of new therapies,” said Ameet Nathwani, chief medical officer and executive vice president, Sanofi.
This would enable Sanofi to research and develop a more personalized approach to treatment and identify accompanying technologies to improve results, the statement said.