February 27, 2020
Sales of New U.S. Homes Reach Highest Level Since July 2007
“New-home sales in the U.S. jumped at the start of the year, reaching the strongest pace since mid-2007 on the heels of cheaper borrowing costs, favorable weather and a resilient labor market. Single-family home sales rose 7.9% to a 764,000 annualized pace in January, exceeding the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey, while the December figure was revised higher, government data showed Wednesday. The median sales price jumped 14% from a year earlier to a record $348,200 as more expensive properties made up a larger share of purchases.”
U.K. Central Banker Sees Investment Surge Driven by Brexit, Budget
“There’s a good chance that U.K. companies will unleash spending this year with a double boost from an expansionary budget and more clarity over Brexit, according to Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane. Investment has been stuck in the doldrums since the 2016 referendum, curbing growth and constraining the U.K.’s potential. But that could be about to change, said Haldane. He spoke in his role as chair of the Industrial Strategy Council, which evaluates government policies to boost productivity.”
China May Cut Deposit Rates So Battered Banks Can Keep Lending
“China’s battered banks are being asked to sacrifice profits to help millions of cash-squeezed companies struggling under the weight of the coronavirus outbreak. Now they may finally see some relief for themselves. Liu Guoqiang, a deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, said over the weekend that policy makers are considering lowering their benchmark deposit rate for the first time in five years. A growing number of analysts are counting the days until such a reduction, with banks desperate for long-term incentives to keep doling out cheaper credit to support businesses as large parts of the economy remain idled.”
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