U.S. Manufacturing Gauge Expands at Fastest Pace Since 2018
“A measure of U.S. manufacturing expanded in December at the fastest pace in more than two years, bolstered by a pickup in new orders and the strongest growth in production since 2011. A gauge of factory activity unexpectedly increased to 60.7 from 57.5 a month earlier, according to Institute for Supply Management data released Tuesday. Readings above 50 indicate expansion and the figure exceeded all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists.”
Lockdowns Give Europe $615 Billion Cash Pile to Aid Recovery
“Europe’s latest lockdowns are presenting citizens with even more hurdles to spending money, swelling already-hefty savings that stand ready to fuel the recovery once vaccines tame the pandemic. Households in the euro zone accumulated a mountain of cash when businesses shut in the spring. Now in a lengthening second wave of closures, they are sitting on about 500 billion euros ($615 billion) in funds that would otherwise have been spent on restaurants, shopping and travel, according to calculations by Allianz SE.”
China Turns to New Commerce Minister as U.S. Tensions Simme
“Wang Wentao has the investor-friendly background that one might expect from China’s next commerce minister. But it’s political credentials that might be key to his success amid increasing hostility with the U.S. Wang, 56, has held top positions in a number of provincial capitals across China, and was most recently governor of northeast Heilongjiang province for more than two years. He replaces Zhong Shan, who has reached the retirement age of 65 for ministerial-level officials.”
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