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After slowing in 2016, global economic activity has accelerated this year. To wit, global industrial production (IP) was growing less than 2 percent on a year-ago basis last autumn, but it strengthened to a 3.6 percent growth rate this summer (Figure 1). Global trade volumes, which had more or less stalled through much of 2016, were up 5.0 percent in June. On a global basis, real GDP grew only 3.1 percent in 2016, the slowest year of growth since 2009 (Figure 2). In our view, global GDP is on pace to grow 3.4 percent this year.

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