The OECD expects global inflation to recede faster in most economies compared to its previous estimates, but urged central bankers to stay alert as it’s too soon to declare victory.
Deflation in China is deepening, while annual revisions confirmed US inflation is on a downward trend. However, price pressures in Brazil failed to slow by as much as forecast at the start of the year, while wage growth maintained momentum in Japan.
Here are some of the charts that appeared on Bloomberg this week on the latest developments global economy, geopolitics and markets:
The world’s major central banks must not drop their guard in the fight against inflation as it’s too soon to say if sharp interest rate increases have contained underlying price pressures, the OECD said.
Australia’s central bank left interest rates at a 12-year high and signaled further tightening remains possible. India kept rates steady but maintained a hawkish policy stance. Thailand, Iceland, Serbia, Uganda, Poland, Mexico also left rates unchanged. Kenya hiked by more than expected, and Nigeria raised interest rates on short-term debt. The Czech Republic and Peru cut rates.
Major shipping companies are warning that the security situation in the Red Sea is continuing to deteriorate, despite efforts by the west to limit attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. The shipping companies’ perceptions of risk matter because they are what will dictate when vessels return to the region. All of the owners said they will continue to re-route their ships until it is safe to travel the Red Sea.
China’s consumer prices dropped 0.8% last month, the most since the global financial crisis, piling pressure on the government to step-up support for a stumbling economic rebound that’s roiling markets. The producer price index fell 2.5%, marking 16 straight months of deflation for factory-gate costs.
Japan’s annual wage negotiations have kicked off in earnest, drawing increased attention as the Bank of Japan looks for evidence of a virtuous wage-price cycle that would allow it to exit from the world’s last negative rate regime. Data out Tuesday showed wage growth strengthened by less than expected in December while still showing signs of sufficient underlying momentum to keep the BOJ on track.
US inflation was about the same at the end of last year as initially reported after incorporating annual revisions, according to new data published Friday. The uneventful revision will come as a relief for Federal Reserve officials who are seeking more evidence that price pressures are sustainably receding before they begin cutting interest rates.
The US trade deficit narrowed last year by the most since 2009 as the value of imported goods declined and the services surplus increased. The nation’s merchandise deficit with China last year shrank 27% to an unadjusted $279.4 billion, the smallest since 2010.
American households took on more debt at the end of last year, and some of those loans are increasingly going bad, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Although overall US delinquency rates remain below pre-Covid levels, those for credit cards and auto loans are now higher.
Brazil’s annual inflation slowed less than expected at the start of the year, underscoring the challenges facing the central bank as it lowers borrowing costs.
German industrial output extended its slump to a seventh month in December, underlining the struggles gripping Europe’s largest economy. The overall level of production is now at its lowest since June 2020, and stripping out the shock of the pandemic, the last time it was so weak was in 2010.
Britain’s labor market is tighter than thought, reflecting changes to population estimates in official data that showed more young people of working age than before. Unemployment by the new measure was 3.9% in the three months through November, well below the 4.2% estimated using previous data, the Office for National Statistics said.
European economies received a poor bill of health in a survey of experts that showed elevated recession risks due to geopolitical conflicts and heightened energy costs. In the euro zone, the chances of two consecutive quarters of declining output by year-end are highest in Germany and the Netherlands.
Written by: Molly Smith and Vince Golle — With assistance from Philip Aldrick, Claire Ballentine, Matthew Boesler, Mia Glass, William Horobin, Robert Jameson, Alex Longley, James Mayger, Colum Murphy, Mark Niquette, Jana Randow, Andrew Rosati, Zoe Schneeweiss, Alexandre Tanzi, Sanne Wass, Sonja Wind, and Erica Yokoyama @Bloomberg
The post “Charting the Global Economy: OECD Lowers Most Inflation Forecasts” first appeared on Bloomberg
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