Canada and the U.S. weren’t the only countries to release growth data on Friday. Here’s a look at some other global players, two of which also saw growth weaken throughout the first quarter.


Still, global economy is on track to top last year’s dismal 3.1%, says National Bank senior economist Krishen Rangasamy in the bank’s monthly economic monitor for May. Rangasamy says, “An uptick in economic activity in the advanced world, led by the Eurozone, is being complemented by better growth in some emerging economies.”

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The main threats, says Rangasamy, are “the rise of trade protectionism, elevated debt levels and policy uncertainty,” all factors that “should not be underestimated given their potential to derail growth. Emerging economies are particularly at risk since they have become more sensitive to external shocks.”

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The U.K.

Britain’s economic growth slowed in the three months through March as concerns about the U.K.’s impending exit from the European Union hurt consumer spending.

The Office for National Statistics says the economy grew 0.3% from the previous quarter, slower than the 0.4% forecast, as inflation brought on by the weaker pound reduced household spending power.

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At the same time, lender Nationwide said that its measure of house prices showed a second successive monthly drop, another signal that what was once the fastest-growing major economy is hitting the skids.

Paul Sirani, chief market analyst at Xtrade, says the marked dent in GDP stems from consumers tightening their belts in the face of rising living costs, and businesses becoming more cautious over investments.

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Yet, Prime Minister Theresa May is optimistic. The Associated Press reports she told Japan’s leader that she is determined to keep Britain “the best place in Europe” to run a business once the country leaves the European Union.

May met Friday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Chequers, the British leader’s country retreat outside London.

May hailed Japan as “[Britain’s] closest Asian security partner,” and an important economic ally. May added that 1,000 Japanese companies including Honda, Hitachi and Mitsubishi employ 140,000 people in Britain.

May said the “strong” U.K. economy alongside Britain’s high level of skills and low levels of taxation would help it remain an attractive destination for investment post-Brexit.


Japan reports that its manufacturing output and household spending fell in March, while the jobless rate remained at a 22-year low of 2.8%.

The data released Friday generally were slightly weaker than analysts had forecast, though the outlook for the world’s third-largest economy remained upbeat.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, rose 0.2%, well below the central bank’s official target of 2% but still the third straight month of increase.

Industrial output fell 2.1% from February.

Consumer spending is being held back by both anemic growth in wages and worries over future cuts to pensions and other social spending. This is slowing progress toward the kind of sustainable growth Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised to deliver through his strategy of lavish monetary easing and public spending and longer-term economic reforms.

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Spain’s statistics agency says the economy grew 0.8% in the first quarter, keeping it as one of the fastest growing in the European Union.

The National Institute of Statistics said Friday that over the year the country’s GDP expanded by 3% .

It was Spain’s 14th consecutive quarter of growth. The run followed a gruelling five-year financial crisis that ended late 2013.

The economy grew 3.2% in 2016 and is expected to expand by 2.5% this year.

The conservative government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has made economic growth and job creation its main policies since taking office in 2011.

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