Overseas Headlines – February 18, 2021

United States:

U.S. Price Pressures Percolate With Surging Sales, Input Costs

“The U.S. economy is starting to display pockets of price pressures, further stoking the debate among economists and market participants over the future path of inflation. Among reports Wednesday, retail sales powered ahead with the strongest advance in seven months, topping all estimates and indicating hearty consumer demand at the start of the year.”



EU’s New Fiscal Weapon Is Operational, It’s a Lifeline for Italy

“European Union governments banking on hundreds of billions of euros in recovery funds to revive their economies can start putting forward their plans from Thursday when the bloc’s newest economic weapon becomes operational. The Recovery and Resilience Facility is designed to hand out 312.5 billion euros ($375 billion) of grants and 360 billion euros of low-interest loans over the next six years to help the EU’s 27 members recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and refit their economies for the challenges of what it sees as an increasingly hostile world.”



China’s Holiday Consumption Withstands Travel Restrictions

“Chinese consumers splurged on restaurants, online sales and movies over the Lunar New Year holiday as travel restrictions made it difficult for many of them to make their annual trips home. Sales at “key” retailers and restaurants during the week-long holiday amounted to 821 billion yuan ($127 billion), an increase of 4.9% from 2019 and up 28.7% from last year, when the economy was in lockdown, according to figures from the Ministry of Commerce.”




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