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FirstFT – IMF lowers growth forecasts, Google unveils smartphone and how art is used for espionage

Summary:
The International Monetary Fund has lowered its growth forecasts for the US and other advanced economies, warning that the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the US presidential elections and rising protectionism advocated by Donald Trump are dragging on a world economy where politics now presents the biggest risk. Updating its semi-annual forecasts for the global economy on Tuesday, the IMF sharply lowered its 2016 growth forecast for the US to 1.6 per cent, from the 2.2 per cent it predicted in July, and for advanced economies as a whole to 1.6 per cent. Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s tough talk on Brexit has put so much pressure on sterling that the UK has fallen below France in the global table of economic powers when measured at market exchange rates. (FT) In the news Google unveils Pixel smartphone The tech group plunged deep into smartphones and other hardware on Tuesday as it unveiled an expensive and potentially risky bet intended to create a showcase for its artificial intelligence and other services. (FT) Storm pounds Haiti The most powerful Caribbean hurricane in nearly a decade has hit Haiti, bringing 230km/h winds, heavy rain and dangerous storm surges. One local politician described the scene as “catastrophic”. (FT) Ukip leader steps down . . . just 18 days after she was elected.

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Bryan Harris
Bryan Harris is a lead writer at Financial Times. He is a Hong Kong-based journalist with a penchant for international crime stories.

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