Overseas Headlines – April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022


United States:

Employment Costs Surge Most Ever, Stoking U.S. Inflation Concern

 “U.S. employment costs jumped by the most on record at the start of the year, heightening concerns about persistent inflation that set the stage for more forceful policy action by the Federal Reserve. The employment cost index, a broad gauge of wages and benefits, advanced 1.4% in the first quarter, according to Labor Department figures released Friday. That followed a 1% advance seen in the final months of 2021.”




Euro Zone Barely Grows as Germany Dodges Recession: GDP Update

“Economic expansion in the euro zone began 2022 on a weak footing — underscoring the damage from soaring energy costs and worsening supply snarls following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Output increased 0.2% from the previous quarter in the three months through March — matching the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. The figure reflects a contraction in Italy, stagnation in France and weaker-than-expected growth in Spain. Germany, the region’s largest economy, narrowly avoided a recession. Whether the euro-area can continue to grow will depend largely on what happens in Asia and Ukraine. Strict lockdowns in the former and Russia’s invasion of the latter are choking already strained supply chains, damping confidence and pushing inflation from one record to another.”




China’s Sudden Currency Plunge Raises Risk of a 2015-Style Panic

“When China’s tightly managed currency depreciates dramatically against the dollar, it can be hard to stop. More than six years after China’s shock 2015 devaluation roiled global markets and spurred an estimated $1 trillion in capital flight, the yuan is weakening at a similar pace. Onshore it’s lost nearly 4% in eight days, while the offshore rate is heading for its worst month relative to the greenback in history. Selling momentum is the strongest since the height of Donald Trump’s trade war in 2018.”





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