Overseas Headlines – February 24, 2021

United States:

Powell Goes Easy on Surging Yields While Central Bank Peers Fret

“The unprecedented $9 trillion rescue mission by central banks to haul the world economy from its coronavirus recession is being tested as rising bond yields and inflation bets threaten their ability to keep borrowing costs down. While Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell this week called the recent run-up in bond yields “a statement of confidence” in the economic outlook, other counterparts are sounding less sanguine as their recoveries lag that of the U.S..”



German Economy Robust at End of 2020 But Near-Term Outlook Weak

“Germany’s economy proved more resilient to the coronavirus than expected at the end of 2020, though extended lockdowns and slow vaccine rollouts mean the start of 2021 still looks bleak. Output rose 0.3% in the fourth quarter as construction picked up and exporters benefited from stronger international demand. Consumer and government spending both dropped.”



Hong Kong Gives HK$120 Billion Boost to Economic Recovery

“Hong Kong gave consumers a boost with spending vouchers and loans for the unemployed, while hitting investors with a planned tax hike on stock trading. Financial Secretary Paul Chan outlined HK$120 billion ($15.5 billion) of fiscal support in his budget Wednesday to spur consumption and ease joblessness in an economy that’s slowly recovering after two years of recession. To boost revenue, he proposed raising the stamp duty on trading to 0.13% from 0.1%, sparking a selloff in equities.”




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