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Economy

Economy

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Every year, BBVA Open Challenges proposes a number of challenges aimed at finding solutions to the challenges identified in different areas of the bank. The registration phase for two new editions of this contest will open in August: Challenge F4C, covering proposals to transform the relationship between banks and customers; and Challenge Global Trends, which seeks to transform the trading of tomorrow through augmented reality and intelligent algorithms.

Mario Draghi did not surprise anyone yesterday. As expected, the European Central Bank (ECB) unanimously decided to leave interest rates unchanged. He also did not announce any immediate changes to the asset purchase program. However, he did offer some clues as to the direction the ECB will follow after the summer.  As BBVA Research notes in its ECB Watch report, the discussion on gradually tapering QE (Quantitative Easing, the ECB´s asset purchase program) will take place in the fall – most likely in September.

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The Pacific Alliance, made up of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, is a regional economic and comercial powerhouse.  This area grows more than the average in Latin America. BBVA Research expects GDP growth of 1.6% and 2.3% in 2017 and 2018, respectively.  "The Pacific Alliance is a success story in integration.  And not by chance.  It shares an ambition and a set of values behind this policy, on how prosperity should be reached," said Jose Manuel González-Páramo, executive director of BBVA in Santander.

BBVA Research places Spain at 30th in the digitization ranking of 100 countries, an intermediate position behind nations such as Germany or France, but ahead of other southern European countries like Italy or Portugal. However, Spain “is much better prepared for the Fourth Industrial Revolution than it was for the previous ones,” says Rafael Doménech, head of Macroeconomic Analysis at BBVA Research.

This is the message the G20 wanted to transmit at the end of the summit that took place last weekend in Hamburg, Germany. However, it does not seem that this actually reflects the tone among the heads of state. The main point of disagreement was around the U.S. position on climate change.  They agreed on issues related to opening markets, international trade and the stability of the financial system.