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U.K. Energy, Biden on the Fed, China Easing: Eco Day


By Enda Curran 2022/1/20

Welcome to Thursday, Europe. Here’s the latest news and analysis from Bloomberg Economics to help you start the day:

  • Soaring energy prices and rising inflation are causing policy headaches around the world. In the U.K., though, the government is raising taxes at the same time, kicking off an economic experiment in one of the countries worst-hit by the pandemic
  • Bloomberg Economics say there’s no let up in sight for U.K. inflation, house prices are rising strongly, and Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey signaled the inflation outlook is likely to worsen when policy makers complete their forecasts in two weeks, noting a darkening picture on both wages and natural gas prices
  • More jobseekers in Britain are looking to work remotely, a survey showed, indicating that the shift away from office work may outlast the pandemic
  • The U.S. can’t get rid of tariffs on imports from China as they’re not meeting their commitments, President Joe Biden said Wednesday, but with the midterms looming in November, the White House is under increasing pressure to show it’s willing to punish China for not holding up its end of the bargain
  • Norway’s central bank is set to keep interest rates on hold on Thursday and reiterate the outlook for a March increase
  • Ukraine may increase borrowing costs further as concerns over a potential war with Russia have pushed the country’s currency to the weakest level in a year
  • Chinese lenders lowered borrowing costs for a second straight month after the central bank cut policy loan rates and pledged more easing to stabilize the economy
  • A rapid one-two punch of interest-rate hikes and balance-sheet reduction from the Federal Reserve risks unsettling bond and stock markets that have already taken a beating, although President Joe Biden backed the central bank’s plans to scale back monetary stimulus, saying it’s the Fed’s job to rein in rapid inflation
  • Gains in Japan’s exports narrowed slightly in December, buoyed by shipments of cars and steel
  • Just as Australia re-opens after shutting itself off from the world for almost two years, an already serious worker shortage is being compounded by an explosion of Covid-induced absenteeism
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