The national statistics institute (INSEE) announced France GDP grew 1.9% in 2017 compared with 1.1% in 2016, the strongest performance since 2011. This news confirms the gradual return of investments in France as well as confidence for households and entrepreneurs. Business investment grew 4.3% in 2017 compared with 3.4% in the prior year, while overall investment rose 3.7% in 2017 compared with 2.7% in the prior year. Moreover, exports growth accelerated 2.6% in the quarter compared with 1.1% in the prior quarter.
Donald Trump pronounced his first State of the Union speech. Supported by the economic environment (2.3% GDP growth in 2017), the US president asked Congress to support an investment plan of at least $ 1.5 trillion to develop infrastructure in the United States. At the same time, economic observers are fearing a overheat of the economy after the fiscal reform.
Last speech of Janet Yellen at the head of the Federal Reserve. The Fed said after a two-day meeting of its policymaking committee that it was leaving its benchmark interest rate unchanged in a range of 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent, a relatively low level that the Fed said would help support continued job growth and stronger inflation. The unemployment rate stood at 4.1 percent in December, and Fed officials do not expect it to fall much further. She will step down on Saturday at the end of her term. The Fed said that her successor, Jerome H. Powell, a Fed governor since 2012, would take the oath of office on Monday morning.
Facebook surpassed revenue expectations for Q4 2017, according to its earnings call on Wednesday. The company posted $13 billion in revenue, up 47% year-over-year, and about $400 million more than analyst predictions. Its monthly active users grew 14% YoY to reach 2.1 billion, falling in line with expectations.
On Yellen’s last business day at the Federal Reserve, the central bank slapped new sanctions on Wells Fargo to punish it for a recent string of misbehavior, including a fake accounts scandal. The Fed imposed a consent order that prohibits the bank from growing its assets any larger indefinitely, an historical decision in the US.