U.S. Homebuilder Confidence Fell to a Four-Month Low in January
“U.S. homebuilder confidence slipped to a four-month low in January as firms became slightly less optimistic about sales against a backdrop of higher house prices and construction costs. A gauge of builder sentiment fell to 83 from December’s reading of 86, National Association of Home Builders data showed Wednesday. The figure was weaker than the median forecast of 86 in Bloomberg’s survey of economists.”
ECB Keeps Stimulus Steady as Economy Grapples With Longer Curbs
“The European Central Bank kept its monetary support for the coronavirus-stricken economy unchanged, betting that its recently scaled-up stimulus package is powerful enough to soften the impact of extended lockdowns. President Christine Lagarde and her colleagues held the pandemic bond-buying program at 1.85 trillion euros ($2.25 trillion), after a 500 billion-euro boost last month, and reiterated that it will run until at least March 2022.”
BOJ’s Kuroda Maximizes Flexibility Ahead of Crucial Two Months
“Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda looked to keep all his options open for a policy review in March following two critical months that will likely determine whether the pandemic will ease or take a turn for the worse. Speaking at a press briefing after the central bank left all of its main policy settings unchanged, Kuroda spent much of his time counting nothing out of the review into the mechanics of the bank’s stimulus program. The one point he insists will not change is the BOJ’s basic approach to stimulus.”
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