U.S. Producer Prices Rise 10%, Reinforcing Fed’s Rate-Hike Path
“Prices paid to U.S. producers rose strongly in February on higher costs of goods, underscoring inflationary pressures that set the stage for a Federal Reserve rate hike this week. The producer price index for final demand increased 10% from February of last year and 0.8% from the prior month, Labor Department data showed Tuesday. That followed an upwardly revised 1.2% monthly gain in January.”
U.K. Unemployment Drops Below Pre-Covid Level for First Time
“U.K. unemployment dropped below its pre-pandemic level for the first time as companies generated more jobs and granted higher wages than expected. The jobless rate fell to 3.9% in the three months through January, the lowest since the start of 2020, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday. Employers added 275,000 jobs in February, more than double the number predicted by economists.”
China’s Surprise Growth Burst Likely Short-Lived as Covid Spikes
“China’s economy had a stronger-than-expected start to the year but the outlook remains grim as the nation battles its worst Covid outbreak since Wuhan two years ago and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine throws global financial markets and energy prices into turmoil. Consumer spending on shopping and eating-out and investment by state-owned companies grew strongly in the first two months of the year, official data showed Tuesday. That was before the country began recording large-scale omicron virus outbreaks and locking down major cities like Changchun and Shenzhen. Industrial production of products such as cars surged but a slump in the housing market persisted.”
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