Hello everyone and welcome to Bladex's Third Quarter 2019 Conference Call, on this 18th day of October, 2019. This call is being recorded and is for investors and analysts only. If you are a member of the media, you are invited to listen-only. Bladex has prepared a PowerPoint presentation to accompany their discussion. It is available through the webcast and on the Bank's corporate website, at www.bladex.com.
Joining us today are Mr. Gabriel Tolchinsky, Chief Executive Officer, and Ms. Ana Graciela de Mendez, Chief Financial Officer. Their comments will be based on earnings release, which was issued earlier today, and is available on the corporate website.
The following statement is made pursuant to the Safe Harbor for forward-looking statements described in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In these communications, we make certain statements that are forward-looking, such as statements regarding Bladex's future results, plans and anticipated trends and the market's effect in its results and financial condition. These forward-looking statements are Bladex's expectations on the day of the initial broadcast of this conference call, and Bladex does not undertake to update these expectations based on subsequent events or knowledge. Various risks, uncertainties and assumptions are detailed in the Bank's press releases and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of our underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may differ significantly from results expressed or implied in these communications.
And with that, I am pleased to turn the call over to Mr. Tolchinsky for his presentation.
N. Gabriel Tolchinsky
Thanks Chantelle. Good morning everyone, thank you for joining us today. Before Ana Graciela delves into key aspects of our earnings results for the third quarter, I would like to discuss with you important developments that took place during the quarter, and the impact of these recent developments on our perception of risk and financial results. I will address the global macroeconomic context, the economic and business environment in Latin America, and relevant country and industry specific developments affecting our portfolio.
During our last four quarter's conference calls, we mentioned that the credit quality of our portfolio, cost structure, and allowances for expected credit losses, set the pace for our earnings generation capacity. Our third quarter 2019 results are another step in that direction.
The global economy in 2019 is on course for its weakest year of growth since the financial crisis, weighed down by tensions that have significantly slowed international trade. Overall growth is now expected to fall 3% this year, according to new estimates from the International Monetary Fund, down from an estimated 3.2% in July. The IMF attributed the slowdown, primarily to rising trade barriers, that have impacted manufacturing and investment around the world. The IMF now forecasts that world trade volumes will expand by just 1.1% this year, less than half of the growth rate of the July estimate of 2.5%. For 2019, forecast for U.S. economic growth were cut by 0.2% to 2.4%. Forecast for
N. Gabriel Tolchinsky
Chief Executive Officer
Ana Graciela de Mendez
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
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