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Groundbreakers that restructured global economies in 2017

Wed, Dec. 27, 2017
CAIRO – 27 December 2017: As 2017 nears its end, Egypt Today reviews some of its biggest economic events that have caused a global boom anticipated to ripple into 2018.

Congress passes sweeping tax reform package

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval in December on a sweeping tax reform bill, the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years.The $1.5 trillion tax bill includes permanent tax breaks for corporations and temporary tax cuts for individuals.

It lowers the top individual tax rate from 39.6 percent to 37 percent and cuts the corporate tax rate to 21 percent, a drastic drop from its current rate of 35 percent.

The passing of the bill marked the first major legislative victory for President Donald Trump since he took office in January. Despite being hailed by Republicans and the White House as a major accomplishment, the bill is so unpopular.

Democrats opposed the bill, calling it a giveaway to the wealthy that will increase the income gap between the rich and poor, while adding $1.5 trillion over the next decade to the $20 trillion national debt.

A CNN poll also found that 55 percent of voters viewed the plan unfavorably and only 33 percent view it favorably.

Brexit’s implications on Britain’s economy

The UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) will continue to impact the kingdom’s economy. The pound sterling slumped to a three-decade low against the U.S. dollar after the Brexit vote due to concerns over the UK’s economy’s long-term prospects outside the EU.

Inflation has increased since the Brexit vote to stand at 3.1 percent, the highest for nearly six years, as the pound’s sharp drop made imports to the UK more expensive.

This is in addition to slow economic growth, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expecting the UK to register 1.5 percent economic growth in 2018, down from the 1.6 percent achieved in 2017. The UK is scheduled to depart the EU in March 2019. The Brexit vote took place on June 23, 2016.

Appointing a new Federal Reserve chair

The U.S. Senate committee has approved Jerome H. Powell's nomination to replace Janet L. Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve.

Powell, a governor on the Federal Reserve board since 2012, is expected to continue Yellen’s policy of gradually raising the Fed’s key short-term interest rate but has signaled more openness to easing financial regulations.He was selected by President Trump in October after a lengthy search process.

Euro rises against dollar

The euro has risen against the dollar during the first eight months of 2017, hitting $1.20 in August for the first time since January 2015. Against the dollar, the euro has risen by almost 15 percent in the first eight months of the year.

The hike is attributed to a number of reasons, including tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, which involved speculations of a war.
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