Overseas Headlines – March 31, 2021

United States:

Biden Plans $2.25 Trillion Spending, Corporate Tax Hikes

“President Joe Biden will unveil a $2.25 trillion U.S. infrastructure plan Wednesday — paid for by tax hikes on businesses — that his administration said will prove the most sweeping since investments in the 1960s space program. The four-part, eight-year plan dedicates $620 billion for transportation, including a doubling in federal funding for public transit. It would provide $650 billion for initiatives tied to improving quality of life at home, like clean water and high-speed broadband. There’s $580 billion for strengthening American manufacturing — some $180 billion of which goes to what’s billed as the biggest non-defense research and development program on record — and $400 billion to address improved care for the elderly and people with disabilities.”



ECB’s Gloomy Inflation View Highlighted by Weak German Pay Deal

“The European Central Bank won’t find much sign of inflation in the pay deal struck by 3.8 million metals and engineering workers in Germany this week. The IG Metall union settled with employers for a one-off Covid-19 bonus of 500 euros ($586) in June and a 2.3% wage hike starting in July. The deal is neither straightforward nor immediate — the pay increase is effectively saved to be handed out as lump sums, and the package is stretched over 21 months.”



Malaysia Sees Economy Rebounding to Pre-Covid Levels by Mid-2021

“Malaysia’s central bank said it expects the economy to return to pre-Covid levels by the middle of this year, and pledged to keep monetary policy accommodative as the country charts a recovery from the pandemic. Gross domestic product may expand 6% to 7.5% in 2021, Malaysia’s central bank said Wednesday in its annual Economic and Monetary Review. That’s a tad slower than its earlier projection of 6.5%-7.5% growth.”




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