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The Business World in 2018 reading

Do you think 2018 will be a good year for business?


B Circle the options which you think are correct in these statements and then read the
first part of the article and check your ideas:
1 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently upgraded its forecast for global
growth to 1.7 / 3.7 / 5.7 %.
2 Manufacturing growth was at a standstill in 2014, as the US / China / Europe stemmed
the flow of unprofitable, cheap exports and the eurozone wrestled with the Portuguese
/ Greek / Irish debt crisis.
3 A record lowering of interest rates / dramatic rise in global trade / decrease in
commodity prices pushed factories across the world to
their highest output for decades during November 2017.
4 The effect of Donald Trump’s tax cuts is to raise
business / consumer / business and consumer
confidence levels over the next year.
5 Oil prices have risen sharply to more than $ 60 / 50 / 70
a barrel from a low point below $40 in 2016.
6 The IMF highlighted unemployment in the eurozone / Brexit / the weak dollar as a
possible drag on the prospects for growth, along with high levels of global debt.

The Observer January 2018

Our financial and economic world to their highest output


specialists predict the big for decades during November.
stories in 2018. It is a trend that forecasters
expect to continue in 2018.
A good year overall … Donald Trump’s tax cuts,
which were pushed through
The International Monetary Congress at breakneck speed,
Fund (IMF) recently upgraded are another shot in the arm
its forecast for global growth – even if the only effect is to
to 3.7%, to reflect the return raise business and consumer
Some joy for the to health of manufacturing in confidence levels in 2018.
business world in 2018 most of the developed world Oil prices have risen
and China. sharply to more than $60 a
The consensus view among Manufacturing growth barrel from a low point below
economists is that the global was at a standstill in 2014, as $40 in 2016, but analysts
economy will put in a strong China stemmed the flow of expect further rises to be
performance in 2018, carrying unprofitable, cheap exports muted, allowing growth to
on its strong momentum and the eurozone wrestled continue without an increase
from 2017. However, that with the Greek debt crisis. in fuel costs putting on the
does not mean that every 2017 was more buoyant. A brake.
sector and every company dramatic rise in global trade The IMF highlighted Brexit
will have a trouble-free year. pushed factories across the as a possible drag on the

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The Business World in 2018 reading

prospects for growth, along debt. But with stock markets the year, the picture remains
with high levels of global hitting new highs at the end of quite rosy.

B How did stock markets fare in 2017 and how do you think they will fare in 2018?
Read the next part of the article and check your ideas.

…but shares might ease off The FTSE 100 also reached of the tech boom of 1999-00.
record territory, moving Wall Street, by contrast, has
After a year of booming stock above the 7,600 level for risen 75% since then.
markets around the globe, the first time just before
commentators are virtually Christmas. But its year-on-
unanimous in predicting that year gain is only 7%, reflecting
returns in 2018 won’t match widespread concerns over
those of 2017. The S&P 500 Brexit, the economy and
surged 20% last year to a new feeble wage growth. It
record high, the Dax index in remains only a few per cent
Germany jumped 13% and, in above its previous high of
Paris, the market was up 10%. nearly 7,000 in the final days

B Discuss these questions and then read the final part of the article and check your
ideas:
1 How much will US corporation tax be in 2018?
2 What will the US top tax rate be?
3 How much will the poorest Americans benefit annually from the tax cuts?
4 What percentage of the globe’s richest people are in the US?
5 How many Americans are officially in poverty?
6 The bottom 50% of the global population take 10% of the world’s income. How much
do the top 1% take?

of the 20th century – will calculates that 62% of the


continue to widen in 2018 benefits of the tax changes
as rich Americans benefit would go to the richest 1%
from Donald Trump’s “big, of Americans. The poorest
beautiful Christmas present” Americans, who don’t earn
tax cuts. This month, the enough to benefit from the
US president celebrated tax cuts, will benefit by about
achieving Congress’s approval $60 a year – a 0.4% income
for “the largest tax cut in our boost. The top 0.1% can
Global wealth gap to widen history”. get their annual incomes to
Corporation tax will be increase by about $190,000
The gap between the super- slashed from 35% to 21%, on average – or a 2.7%
rich and everyone else – and the top tax rate cut from increase.
which is already at the widest 39.6% to 37%. The US is already the
it has been since the turn The Tax Policy Center world’s most unequal society,

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The Business World in 2018 reading

with four out of five of the increase taxes on the super- the global bottom 50% share
globe’s richest people and 41 wealthy, the richest-of-the- could fall from 10% to less
million officially in poverty, rich will continue to “capture” than 9%.”
according to the US Census more and more of the world’s
Bureau. income at the expense of the
The World Inequality poor.
Report, produced by French “The global top 1% income
economist Thomas Piketty, share could increase from
warned this month that nearly 20% today to more
unless there is globally than 24% by 2050,” the
coordinated political action to report said. “In which case,

b Which of the predictions do you think will happen?

V Discuss the meaning of these words from the article and then use them to complete
the extracts below:
tax cut wage growth returns global debt
stock markets exports output sector

1 However, that does not mean that every _______________ and every company will
have a trouble-free year.
2…as China stemmed the flow of unprofitable, cheap _____________ and the eurozone
wrestled with the Greek debt crisis.
3 A dramatic rise in global trade pushed factories across the world to their highest
__________________ for decades during November.
4 The IMF highlighted Brexit as a possible drag on the prospects for growth, along with
high levels of ________________________.
5 But with _____________________ hitting new highs at the end of the year, the picture
remains quite rosy.
6 …commentators are virtually unanimous in predicting that _____________ in 2018
won’t match those of 2017.
7…reflecting widespread concerns over Brexit, the economy and feeble __________
______________.
8 This month, the US president celebrated achieving Congress’s approval for “the
largest _________________ in our history”.

V Write sentences of your own with the words.

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The Business World in 2018 reading

E What does the highlighted expression in this extract from the article mean?

The Observer January 2018

...allowing growth to continue without an increase in fuel costs putting on the brake.

There are a number of car-related idioms in English. What do you think these mean?

1 run out of gas


2 blow a gasket
3 test drive
4 down the road
5 shift gears
6 be in the driver’s seat

V Now match them to these definitions:

___ lose one’s energy, enthusiasm, etc. / falter for lack of impetus, ideas, capital, etc.
___ some time in the future
___ try (something) in order to determine its qualities
___ change pace
___ be in control
___ explode with anger

V Complete these sentences with the idioms above:


1 They decided to ___________________________ the project when they saw that the
government planned to introduce new regulations.
2 When we told him we didn’t like his suggestions, he ________________________.
3 We need to ________________ the new system before we know if it will work for us.
4 James works well when he is _______________________, but not when other people
are giving the orders.
5 One day I will be able to play tennis every day, but that’s a long way _______________.
6 The economic recovery seems to be _________________________________, which is
not good news.
7 The film is slow in the beginning, but then ___________________ and there is a lot of
action.
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The Business World in 2018 reading
week of 15.01.18
Teacher’s notes 1 student pages 4 mid-intermediate+ (B2+)
V Discuss the meaning of these words from the article and then use them to complete
the extracts below:
1 sector
2 exports
3 output
4 global debt
5 stock markets
6 returns
7 wage growth
8 tax cut

E What does the highlighted expression in this extract from the article mean?
put the brakes on (something) = stop or slow something down

V Now match them to these definitions:


1 lose one’s energy, enthusiasm, etc. / falter for lack of impetus, ideas, capital, etc.
4 some time in the future
3 try (something) in order to determine its qualities
5 change pace
6 be in control
2 explode with anger

V Complete these sentences with the idioms above:

1 put the brakes on


2 blew a gasket
3 test drive
4 in the driver’s seat
5 down the road
6 running out of gas
7 shifts gears