January 15, 2020
Housing Upswing to Cushion U.S. Economy From Sluggish Investment
“A rejuvenated U.S. housing market will help keep the economy chugging along despite the threat posed by a derailment in corporate spending. Home construction outlays, which account for almost 4% of gross domestic product, increased for a fifth straight month in November, marking a welcome departure from a yearlong slowdown. Buyers, their confidence bolstered by sustained job and income growth, have taken advantage of the lowest borrowing costs in almost three years as Federal Reserve policy makers reduced their benchmark rate three times in 2019.”
U.K. Starts Plan to Fix Its Most Controversial Inflation Gauge
“The U.K. is about to ask how quickly it should fix one of its most controversial pieces of economic data, a measure of prices riddled with problems. Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid will start a consultation in March on fixing the retail-prices index. That follows a decision last year to correct the flawed gauge by 2030, or possibly as early as 2025 based on the result of feedback.”
China Used the Rest of the World to Cushion Itself From Trump’s Tariff Barrage
“China’s export juggernaut last year showed it can be nimble too, quickly diversifying into new markets to cushion the impact of Donald Trump’s tariff onslaught. That’s the key trend seen in China’s 2019 trade data published Tuesday, which show exports to the U.S. plunged 12.5% even as overall shipments rose 0.5%. The trade balance tells a similar story, with China’s surplus with the U.S. dropping 8.5% to almost $296 billion even as its overall surplus rose more than 20% to about $422 billion.”
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