U.S. Small-Business Optimism Index Surges by Most Since 1980
Optimism among America’s small businesses soared in December by the most since 1980 as expectations about the economy’s prospects improved dramatically in the aftermath of the presidential election. The National Federation of Independent Business’s index jumped 7.4 points last month to 105.8, the highest since the end of 2004, from 98.4. While seven of the 10 components increased in December, 73 percent of the monthly advance was due to more upbeat views about the outlook for sales and the economy, the Washington-based group said.
Euro zone yields fall as politics outweigh supply expectations
Euro zone bond yields dipped on Tuesday as concerns that Britain faced a "hard Brexit" when it leaves the European Union and the prospect of unpredictable elections in major European economies outweighed inflation and supply expectations. Yields have been rising in the single currency bloc since the start of the year as strong economic data has increased expectations for growth and inflation. The prospect of a traditionally busy January of government borrowing have also pushed yields up as investors make room for new bonds. However, some of these moves reversed after comments by British Prime Minister Theresa May fuelled expectations of a "hard Brexit" without access to the EU’s single market and increased demand for safe-haven assets.
China vows to contain corporate debt levels as inflation heats up
China vowed on Tuesday to contain high company debt levels and further cut excess coal and steel capacity, as Beijing attempts to maintain solid and more balanced economic growth while avoiding destabilizing asset bubbles. The world’s second-largest economy likely grew around 6.7 percent last year — roughly in the middle of the government’s target range — but it faces increasing uncertainties in 2017, the head of the country’s state planning agency told a news briefing. China’s credit growth has been "very fast" by global standards, and without a comprehensive strategy to tackle the debt overhang there is a growing risk it will have a banking crisis or sharply slower growth or both, the International Monetary Fund said in October.