International context: GDP growth accelerated in the US in Q2 2018. According to the advance estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the annual GDP growth rate of the US rose substantially to 4.1% in Q2 2018 from 2.2% in Q1. The acceleration of growth in Q2 2018 was due to increases in personal consumption expenditure, exports, federal government expenditure, and state and local government expenditure. Imports – a deduction in the calculation of GDP – also declined. These were partly offset by a decline in private inventory investment and non-residential fixed investment. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, GDP growth was 2.8% in Q2 2018 up from 2.6% in Q1. Regarding the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), annual GDP growth slightly declined to 6.7% in China in Q2 2018 from 6.8% in Q1 2018. The other BRICS countries will release their GDP growth rates for Q2 2018 only later. In Q1 2018, Brazil reported an annual GDP growth rate of 1.6% down from 2.2% in Q4 2017. In India, the annual GDP growth rate grew to 7.4% in Q1 2018, from 6.9% in Q4. South Africa reported a deceleration of the annual GDP growth to 1.5% in Q1 2018, down from 1.9% in Q4 2017. In Russia, annual GDP growth was 1.3% in Q1 2018, up from 1.1% in Q4 2017. European Union and euro area: GDP growth in decline in Q2 2018 in the euro area and in the EU. According to the preliminary flash estimate, the annual GDP growth rate of the euro area was 2.1% in Q2 2018, down from 2.5% in Q1 2018 and 2.8% in Q4. The unemployment rate remained stable at 8.3% in June 2018 compared to May 2018. The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) remained broadly stable in July 2018 (–0.2 points to 112.1). The annual inflation rate grew to 2.1% in July 2018, slightly up from 2.0% in June 2018. Energy inflation accelerated to an annual rate of 9.4% in July 2018, from 8.0% in June, remaining the component with the highest annual rate. Regarding the EU, annual GDP growth declined to 2.2% in Q2 2018, down from 2.4% in Q1 2018. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.9% in June 2018.