Overseas Headlines – December 30, 2021

United States:

U.S. Merchandise-Trade Gap Widens to Record as Imports Surge

“The U.S. merchandise-trade deficit widened to a record in November as imports surged to an all-time high. The gap increased to $97.8 billion last month from a revised $83.2 billion in October, according to Commerce Department data released Wednesday. The figure exceeded all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The data aren’t adjusted for inflation.”



ECB’s Knot Says Policy Rate Can Start Rising in Early 2023

“The European Central Bank will be ready for an interest rate hike in early 2023 after ending the remaining bond purchases by the end of next year, Governing Council member Klaas Knot said. “All switches are on track to end the remaining bond buying by the end of next year — and when that’s done, the policy rate can go up early 2023,” he told Dutch Trouw newspaper in an interview published Thursday.”



Inflation and China Failed to Rattle Markets. 2022 Might Be Different.

“A year ago, most economists expected that the Covid-19 pandemic would continue to weigh heavily on the global marketplace, and that the recovery process would be far from smooth. But two changes to the landscape — rapid inflation, and questions about the viability of investing in China — caught nearly everyone off-guard.Even if we had foreseen these developments, it is unlikely that we would have gotten right their broader implications. And we probably wouldn’t have guessed that markets would by and large take the news in stride. That bears remembering as we attempt to make projections for the coming year while still dogged by the pandemic and other uncertainties.”




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