GLOBILITY® - 20 April 2017 

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EMEA

IMF Ups Eurozone Growth Forecast but Brexit Dampens Outlook
As elections near in several countries, political uncertainty about the outcomes, coupled with ambiguity about the European Union's future relationship with the United Kingdom, impacts economic activity in the Eurozone.

This week the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sent a caution about the Eurozone’s prospects, noting that growth, overall, would likely be modest. The IMF said growth this year in the 19-nation eurozone would be 1.7 per cent, up 0.1 percentage point from its January estimate but unchanged from the 2016 performance. The IMF also reported that modest recovery is projected to be supported by a mildly expansionary fiscal stance, accommodative financial conditions, a weaker euro, and beneficial spillovers from a likely U.S. fiscal stimulus. Find out more about the IMF's Eurozone report. 

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Is Your Salary Enough to Afford Dubai Rents?
Researchers have consistently ranked Dubai in the top priciest markets. Studies have shown that a single tenant needs to earn more than Dh16,000 monthly - or Dh200,000 a year - to afford housing costs in the emirate, much higher than in other destinations popular among expatriates.
The cost of renting an accommodation in the emirate is the fourth-highest in the world, and more than twice the average lease rates in Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Frankfurt, Vienna and Brussels. Read about expat housing in Dubai.

APAC

'Putting Australians First': Turnbull Says Government Abolishing 457 Visas (video)
The Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, used Facebook to announce the abolishment of the skilled 457 visa, so that the country’s citizens are given priority for Australian jobs. Turnbull said “We’ll no longer let 457 visas be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians.” The 457 visa has been the most common way for employers to bring skilled workers into Australia temporarily. A new temporary visa with different requirements for foreign workers will replace the 457. Watch the video for more information on the 457 visa.  

Japanese Economy Turns Corner, but is Not Quite Out of the Woods
Japan's economy has charted 52 straight months of recovery in its third-longest streak since World War II, and though job prospects in Japan are improving, wage growth and spending remain low. The unemployment rate in February stood at a multi-year low of 2.8 per cent, and for every 100 job-seekers, there are 143 positions nationwide. This tight labor market has prompted a surprising wave of job-hopping in a nation where company loyalty is deeply respected. Economists reflect that a number of companies are supplementing their headcount with temporary workers – a whopping 40 per cent of the Japanese workforce, who earn less than two-thirds of their full-time colleagues and do not qualify for bonuses or other benefits. Learn more about Japan's economy.

China’s GDP Outpaces First Quarter Predictions as Steel Output Soars to New Record
Bolstered by hefty government infrastructure spending and a hot housing market, China 's economy grew 6.9% in the first quarter over last year, outpacing the expectations of analysts. Drawing on March data, the first-quarter growth was its quickest since the third quarter of 2015: investment, retail sales, factory output and exports all increased more rapidly than anticipated. The pros and cons: this GDP report bolsters shaky global financial markets but could signal that China’s reliance on stimulus and outdated growth drivers won’t be enough to minimize risk from accumulated debt. Learn more about China’s GDP increase.  

AMERICAS 

Government Affairs Community Update: Tax Reform, Regulatory/Compliance Issues, Real Estate and More
Worldwide ERC®’s latest update includes activity in the U.S. administration's agenda such as Tax Reform, the Moving Expense Deduction, Regulatory/Compliance Issues, Real Estate, Trade Agreements and Immigration, along with mobility industry impact statements. Navigate to the Government Affairs Community Update.  

Trump Signs Order That Could Lead to Curbs on Foreign Workers
President Trump signed an executive order this week to tighten rules that award visas to skilled foreign workers and favor American companies for federal contracts. The “Buy American, Hire American” executive order emphasizes enforcement of laws that encourage government agencies and Americans to buy U.S. products and hire U.S. workers. Find the full story on the executive order here. 

Brazil Is the Slowpoke of Latin America
Though it boasts the most diversified economy in Latin America, and houses the best equity market south of the Rio Grande, Brazil is slow to perform on the growth scale. Consecutive recession years, along with double-digit inflation and interest rates obstructed the country's prospects for a solid rebound. Based on a list of Latin American economies watched by Barclays Capital, Brazil is trailed only by Venezuela as the worst economy in the region for growth.
Find out more about Brazil's economic status.

Canada: Changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Program Announced
In seeking to improve its
Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), Canada’s government is issuing new requirements for employers seeking to hire foreign workers. Employers must incorporate additional efforts to recruit Canadians, especially from sectors like youth, newcomers, women, indigenous people and people with disabilities who are typically under-represented in the workforce. The government noted that it will work with industry sectors that are heavy users of the program to create Canadian workforce development strategies in partnership with employers, organized labor and other stakeholders. "The changes we are making to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program will help ensure that Canadians have the first opportunity at available jobs, that vulnerable workers are protected, and that the Canadian economy can continue to grow and thrive,” said Patty Hajdu, minister of employment, workforce development and labor. Read more about changes to the TFWP.

Global Interest    

Living Quality in the World’s Cities: The Infrastructure Advantage
Organizations analyze the quality of living for their expatriate employees with a number of elements: risk factors such as economic and political stability are counted, of course, and so is city infrastructure when multinationals are establishing and staffing global locations. Under consideration are issues like easy access to transportation, reliable electricity, and drinkable water when assessing assistance like hardship allowances. Mercer’s 19th annual Quality of Living Survey ranked infrastructure as a separate factor in determining its rankings for the world’s cities. The infrastructure ranking assesses each city’s supply of electricity, drinking water, telephone and mail services, and public transportation, as well as traffic congestion and the range of international flights available from local airports. Singapore tops the city infrastructure ranking, followed by Frankfurt and Munich, both in 2nd place. Baghdad (230) and Port-au-Prince (231) rank last for city infrastructure. Understand the advantages of infrastructure rankings.