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The Week In Numbers: Powell to Succeed Yellen at US Fed

President Trump has appointed 64-year-old Jerome Powell as Fed Chairman. He is the 16th chair of the Fed Reserve. He succeeds Dr Janet Yellen who began her tenure in 2014. Since then she has hiked interest rates twice. She was also the first female Fed chair and is regarded by Forbes as the 3rd most powerful woman and 6th most powerful person overall.

Indonesia’s GDP grew by 5.06% during the third quarter of this year. This was below analysts’ estimate of 5.13%. South East Asia’s largest economy has stagnated at around 5% growth since the fourth quarter of 2014 due to slow growth in the private consumption sector, which accounts for about half of the country’s GDP.

Private consumption grew 4.93%, while government spending expanded 3.46%. Investments rose 7.11%, an improvement from the 5.35% in the second quarter. With sluggish growth in the last few years, President Joko Widodo’s target of reaching 7% growth in 2019 looks unlikely.

On a brighter note, Indonesia posted a US3.2 billion trade surplus, up from US$2.28 billion a year ago. This was due to growth in demand for commodities such as coal and oil.

Meanwhile, German industrial production fell by 1.6% in September, after rising 2.6% in August. Despite this, the total output for the third quarter still grew by 0.8%. Germany’s DIHK Chambers of Industry and Commerce raised its growth forecast to 2% for this year, from a previous estimate of 1.8%.

China’s exports grew by 6.9% in October from a year ago. Imports also expanded by 17.2% year-on-year. The trade surplus stood at 245 billion yuan (S$52.3 billion). The trade surplus against the US came in at US$26.6 billion last month. This comes amidst President Trump’s trip to China where he focused on decreasing the US trade deficit with China.

Finally, oil price hit their highest level since July 2015 on Monday afternoon. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark for oil, went as high as US$62.90 per barrel. This is more than 40% above June’s low. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose above US$56 per barrel, more than 30% above its July’s low.

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