March 14, 2023
US Core CPI Tops Estimates, Pressuring Fed as It Weighs Hike
Underlying US consumer prices rose in February by the most in five months, forcing a tough choice for Federal Reserve officials weighing still-rapid inflation against banking turmoil in their next interest-rate decision.
The consumer price index, excluding food and energy, increased 0.5% last month and 5.5% from a year earlier, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data out Tuesday. Economists see the gauge — known as the core CPI — as a better indicator of underlying inflation than the headline measure.
Russia Built $80 Billion Offshore Cash Pile in Year of Sanctions
Russia was able to save abroad about a third of the $227 billion windfall earned last year from its commodity exports, creating a potential new flashpoint as the US and its allies look to tighten their sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.
About $80 billion is scattered across holdings of cash, real estate and investments in affiliates abroad, according to a Bloomberg Economics estimate. The stash amounts to shadow reserves, a byproduct of a record current-account surplus — roughly the difference between exports and imports — that helped sustain the Kremlin’s finances since its attack on Ukraine in February 2022.
China’s Official Data Likely to Show Economy Strengthening
China’s economic recovery is strengthening in the aftermath of Covid restrictions and outbreaks, with official data on Wednesday providing clues on how sustainable the rebound is likely to be.
The government will publish data for the first two months of the year for retail sales, industrial output and investment, all of which are expected to show a rebound from December. Unemployment likely also eased last month.
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