Overseas Headlines – March 31, 2022

United States:

U.S. Inflation-Adjusted Spending Falls as Prices Temper Demand

“U.S. inflation-adjusted consumer spending declined in February, suggesting the fastest pace of price increases in four decades is starting to temper demand.  Purchases of goods and services, adjusted for changes in prices, fell 0.4% from the prior month, following a 2.1% jump in January, according to Commerce Department figures Thursday. Spending on goods settled back after the prior month’s surge, while a decline in Covid-19 cases supported a pickup in outlays for services.”



U.K. Economy Grew More Than Expected as Omicron Raged

“The U.K. economy grew stronger than expected at the end of last year, displaying resilience as the omicron variant of the coronavirus spread. Gross domestic product expanded 1.3% in the fourth quarter, the Office for National Statistics said Thursday. That’s more than the 1% figure previously reported.”



China’s Covid Lockdowns Strain Economy and Global Supply Chains

“China’s Covid lockdowns are putting the economy under strain and threatening to disrupt global supply chains, prompting Beijing to call for more contingency plans to deal with the risks. Purchasing managers’ indexes for March showed lockdowns in the technology and trade center Shenzhen and automotive city Changchun cut factory activity in the month. Services have also been hit hard as restaurants and retail shops close because of renewed restrictions and tightened social distancing measures.”



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