U.S. Railroads Chart Steadier Course After Wild 2020 Ride
“In the week that marked the anniversary of China’s initial lockdown of Wuhan to curb spread of Covid-19, three of the U.S.’s biggest rail companies coming off wild rides last year tried to spell out what 2021 may bring. Supply-chain disruptions moving goods from factories and farms through ports and warehouses to businesses and homes saw rail volumes in the world’s biggest economy plummet last April, reaching multi-year lows, though still above the usual year-end drop in carloads, data from the Association of American Railroads show.”
ECB Seeks New Gauges by March to Aid Pandemic Stimulus Plans
“European Central Bank officials have asked staff to propose new ways to measure financial conditions in the euro area, potentially assisting future decisions on how much stimulus the region’s pandemic-hit economy needs. The central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee was tasked with making proposals in time for the March policy meeting, according to people familiar with the debate. Some officials want new ways to measure the impact of the ECB’s record-low interest rates and asset purchases on credit conditions, the people said, who asked not to be identified as the discussions were private.”
India’s Economy Shows Signs of Recovery as Virus Cases Decline
“India’s economy showed signs a recovery is taking root as waning virus cases and a vaccine roll-out supported sentiment and as focus turns to further stimulus possible in the upcoming federal budget. The needle on a dial measuring overall economic activity was unchanged at 5 last month, indicating the economy was coasting along in the fast lane. Although seven of the eight high-frequency indicators tracked by Bloomberg News held steady and one deteriorated, the gauge uses the three-month weighted average to smooth out volatility in the single-month readings.”
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