16 June: Your round-up of the issues leading today's agenda
- The Swiss economy is expected to suffer its biggest contraction since the mid-1970s this year, with financial stability risks increasing globally due spiraling corporate and state debt, according to Bloomberg. “The risk of upheaval on the financial markets and further upward pressure on the Swiss franc is high,” Switzerland’s the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday.
- President Donald Trump said he would reduce the number of US troops in Germany to 25,000 unless the country spent more on defence, in a move that threatens to further strain the transatlantic security alliance, the Financial Times reports. Trump said he had taken the decision, which would cut the US presence by more than 9,000 troops, because Germany had not sufficiently boosted its financial contribution to the Nato security alliance.
- Boris Johnson has said there is no reason why the outline of a Brexit deal cannot be sealed by the end of July, after he asked EU leaders at a video summit to “put a tiger in the tank” of stalled talks. In a boost for the prime minister’s plans to secure a deal by the end of the summer, the EU leaders agreed to strive to find early common ground on trade and security to avoid unnecessary economic chaos next year.
- In a report on Monday, Capital Economics presented data that give Sweden an irrefutable edge, Bloomberg reports. From peak to trough, Swedish GDP will shrink 8%; in the U.K. and Italy, the contraction is somewhere between 25% and 30%, according to estimates covering the fourth quarter of 2019 through to the second quarter of 2020. The U.S. is somewhere in the middle, it said. “Even accounting for data problems, the variation in the extent of the economic damage inflicted by the virus on different countries is striking,” said Neil Shearing, group chief economist at the researcher.