U.S. Consumer Spending Buffeted by Fastest Inflation in Decades
“U.S. consumers took a breather in November a month after an early holiday spending surge, but that pause risks becoming more lasting if Americans pull back when faced with both the fastest inflation in decades and the omicron variant. Purchases of goods and services, after adjusting for higher prices, were little changed following a solid 0.7% gain in October.”
Europe’s Energy Crunch Threatens to Nix Nascent Economic Revival
“European economies are facing a potentially crippling setback to their nascent recoveries if the worsening energy crunch forces many more factories to halt or curb operations. Power and gas prices have hit record highs across the continent as unscheduled nuclear shutdowns in France, reduced supplies of Russian natural gas and winter demand push producers to their limits.”
Japan’s Key Consumer Price Gains Hit 2% After Dialing Out Phones
“Gains in Japan’s core consumer prices accelerated in November and would have hit the central bank’s 2% target without the impact of slashed mobile phone fees. Consumer prices, excluding those for fresh food, rose 0.5% compared with a year earlier, driven by higher energy prices, the ministry of internal affairs reported.”
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