Fed Lays Out Plan to Prune Balance Sheet by $1.1 Trillion a Year
“Federal Reserve officials laid out a long-awaited plan to shrink their balance sheet by more than $1 trillion a year while raising interest rates “expeditiously” to counter the hottest inflation in four decades. The roadmap for reducing the assets they bought during the pandemic was spelled out on Wednesday in minutes of their March meeting, when officials raised rates by a quarter point. They debated going bigger but chose caution in light of the uncertainty caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the record of their discussion showed.”
Russian Inflation Heating Up as Prices Jump 10% in 3 Months
“Russian inflation remained high in the last week of March, with prices on foods and household products like soap and toilet paper jumping even as consumer demand was hit by sanctions imposed over the invasion of Ukraine. Consumer prices overall rose 0.99% in the seven days ending April 1, down slightly from 1.16% a week earlier, the Federal Statistics Service said Wednesday. Prices for sugar rose 5.1% on average in the week, while those for onions jumped by 8%.”
China’s $2.3 Trillion Infrastructure Plan Puts America’s to Shame
“With coronavirus lockdowns, a real estate downturn, and surging oil prices stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Chinese President Xi Jinping is turning to reliable allies to keep his ambitious economic growth target in reach: the country’s more than 50 million construction workers. At Beijing’s behest, local governments have drawn up lists of thousands of “major projects,” which they’re being put under intense pressure to see through. Planned investment this year amounts to at least 14.8 trillion yuan ($2.3 trillion), according to a Bloomberg analysis. That’s more than double the new spending in the infrastructure package the U.S. Congress approved last year, which totals $1.1 trillion spread over five years.”
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