U.S. Producer Prices Increased in August by More Than Forecast
“Prices paid to U.S. producers increased in August by more than forecast as persistent supply chain disruptions squeeze production costs higher. The producer price index for final demand increased 0.7% from the prior month and 8.3% from a year ago, a fresh series high, Labor Department data showed Friday. Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the so-called core PPI advanced 0.6%, and was up 6.7% from August of last year.”
EU Austerity Battle Ramps Up as France Announces New Spending
“Europe is heading for a bruising battle over austerity as governments set out their positions on how to address huge debt loads and help their economies work past the deep Covid-19 recession. The European Union suspended fiscal limits in 2020 as countries funneled trillions of euros into emergency health spending and job protection programs. But with a discussion among finance ministers in Slovenia on Friday kicking off a debate on those rules, a day of reckoning is approaching for a decision on when and in what form they should be reinstated.”
China’s Central Bank Turns to Niche Policy Tool to Boost Growth
“China’s central bank is increasingly making use of one of its lesser known monetary policy tools to support the economy, a move that analysts say suggests less need for broad policy action like interest rate cuts. The People’s Bank of China is turning to its relending program, providing loans to commercial banks for lending to customers. The funds are usually targeted for specific uses by the central bank, such as loans to farmers, small businesses and projects that help alleviate poverty, or pandemic relief. The loans have a lower interest rate than the medium-term lending facility funds offered by the PBOC, and are usually accessible to more banks.”
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