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We're in a pivotal week for the economy. Here's what you need to know – CNN



A version of this story appeared in CNN’s What Matters newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free here.

Washington (CNN)Prices in the US will ease, “come hell or high water.”

That was President Joe Biden’s message on Tuesday as the US — already in the throes of a turbulent economic year — braces for a pivotal week.
The combination of surging oil and gasoline prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, broader inflation worries resulting from continued supply-chain disruptions and fears about aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve have sent the market into a tailspin.
Put simply: “It’s a pretty bad storm,” Joann Weiner, an economics professor at George Washington University, told What Matters.
Here’s what you need to know about this week’s consequential Federal Reserve meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday and why it matters.

All eyes on Wednesday

To fight inflation, the US central bank is expected to increase its benchmark interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point, the biggest single hike since 1994.
This follows the Fed’s decision to raise its rate by half a percentage point in May, the biggest increase in 22 years.
CNN’s Matt Egan puts it this way: The fact that the Fed is decisively moving away from zero shows confidence in the health of the job market. But the speed with which interest rates are expected to go up underscores its growing concern about the soaring cost of living.
Investors are expecting the Fed to raise its target range near 4% by the end of the year, up from about 1% today. For context, as Egan notes, rates got as high as 5.25% before the Great Recession.
But what does this mean for consumers? More from Egan: Every time the Fed raises rates, it becomes more expensive to borrow. That means higher interest costs for mortgages, home equity lines of credit, credit cards, student debt and car loans. Business loans will also get pricier, for businesses large and small.
Americans will initially experience this policy shift through higher borrowing costs: It is no longer insanely cheap to take out mortgages or car loans. And cash sitting in bank accounts will finally earn something, albeit not much.
The risk? The central bank overdoes it, slowing the economy so much that it accidentally sparks a recession that drives unemployment higher.

Why such aggressive rate hikes?

To borrow an old phrase, drastic times call for drastic measures.
If it feels like your paycheck is depleting more quickly than it used to, you’re not alone. Americans everywhere are feeling the effects of inflation … everywhere.
The typical US household is spending about $460 more every month than it did last year to purchase the same basket of goods and services, said Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody’s Analytics. And for the first time ever, a gallon of regular gas now costs $5 on average nationwide, according to AAA’s Saturday reading.
The latest Consumer Price Index, the government’s basic inflation measure, doesn’t offer comfort elsewhere: Prices for food purchased to eat at home rose 11.9% over the past 12 months; the shelter index, which measures rents and other housing costs, posted a 5.5% increase; and used car prices lifted 16.1%.
There was, however, a sliver of good news in the Producer Price Index, which measures wholesale prices before goods and services reach consumers.
That index rose 10.8% in May compared with where it stood a year ago, according to data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While that’s still quite high by historical standards, it’s down from the revised 10.9% rise reported in April’s reading.

The politics of economics

Fact-checking Biden's claim that Putin shares blame for inflation

Fact-checking Biden's claim that Putin shares blame for inflation


    Fact-checking Biden’s claim that Putin shares blame for inflation


Fact-checking Biden’s claim that Putin shares blame for inflation 02:33
The Fed’s ability to tame inflation carries enormous consequences in Washington. If the upcoming midterm elections become a referendum on the economy, for example, Democrats have a big problem on their hands.
You don’t have to look further than the S&P 500, one of the broadest measures of the US stock market. The index has now lost all of its gains since Biden was inaugurated early last year.
The President and Democrats in Congress, of course, recognize the threat that a flailing economy poses to their midterm aspirations, along with the liability it could carry into 2024. And it’s hard to not look at recent decisions from the White House through that lens.
For example, Biden will visit Saudi Arabia next month, where he is expected to engage in some capacity with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — something he once campaigned against.
Speaking to reporters over the weekend, the President insisted the trip was not tied to global energy prices, though his advisers have said openly that the need to increase oil production in order to stabilize prices is a key driver of the Saudi reset.
The good news for the White House is that economies aren’t always a strong indicator of political prospects:
  • Bad economies don’t always hamper reelection. As CNN’s Paul R. La Monica writes: The market plunged 16.5% in the first 510 days of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, which was also a period of historically high inflation. Stocks were down 25% in the early part of George W. Bush’s presidency, as the market was in the midst of the dot-com meltdown and struggled to recover in the aftermath of 9/11. But both Reagan and George W. Bush wound up being reelected.
  • Good economies don’t always secure reelection. Meanwhile, stocks soared more than 20% early in both George H.W. Bush’s and Donald Trump’s tenures in the Oval Office. Neither was elected to a second term.
“The bottom line is this: I truly believe we made extraordinary progress by laying a new foundation for our economy,” Biden maintained Tuesday, “which becomes clear once global inflation begins to recede.”

What if the Fed doesn’t succeed?

The President has repeatedly stressed the importance of letting the Fed do its work independently, and he’s put his faith in its ability to tackle inflation.
But what happens if the Fed crash-lands the economy into a recession?
“From a 30,000-foot level, if you’re looking at it from down on high, I expect a recession — if we have one — would be six months, nine months, something like that,” Zandi told CNN this week. “Unemployment would rise from 3.6% to 5.5%, 6%, something like that. Not good, but you know, in the grand scheme of things, kind of more typical, comparable to other recessions we’ve experienced in the past.”
Indeed, a growing chorus of analysts believe the Fed acted too late on inflation to engineer a soft landing. But there have been rare instances when the central bank has cooled off the economy and kept prices in check without sending the US economy spiraling into a downturn: once in 1965, and again in 1984 and 1994.
The good news, Weiner says, is the Fed has gotten better at signaling its intentions: “As long as the Fed does what’s expected, things don’t go haywire.”

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Charting the Global Economy: Factories Slow Down From US to Asia – BNN



(Bloomberg) — Sign up for the New Economy Daily newsletter, follow us @economics and subscribe to our podcast.

Manufacturing from the US to Asia is very much in a slowdown as factories continue to struggle with supply snarls, labor shortages and elevated materials costs.

A measure of US manufacturing activity weakened in June to a two-year low, and several regional Federal Reserve surveys indicated business activity shrank. Factory purchasing managers’ gauges across Asia eased, with South Korea, Thailand and India among those showing the biggest declines, according to S&P Global.

Similar indexes in Poland, Spain and Italy also showed weaker activity compared to May.

Here are some of the charts that appeared on Bloomberg this week on the latest developments in the global economy:


Consumer spending fell in May for the first time this year and prior months were revised lower, suggesting an economy on somewhat weaker footing than previously thought amid rapid inflation and Fed interest-rate hikes.

Regional Fed manufacturing surveys have taken on a grimmer tone, with four of five indicating business activity shrank in June. Separately, a measure of overall manufacturing slid to a two-year low as new orders contracted, restrained by lingering supply constraints and some softening in demand.

The pandemic housing boom is careening to a halt as the fastest-rising mortgage rates in at least half a century upend affordability for homebuyers, catching many sellers wrong-footed with prices that are too high.


Confidence in the euro-area economy slipped as households become more pessimistic amid fears a Russian energy cutoff will spark a recession. At the same time, they’re less worried about inflation than they were a month ago, though there’s a split between core and peripheral euro-area countries.

After suffering from unprecedented shocks in recent years, the UK is succumbing to more intractable problems marked by plodding growth, surging inflation and a series of damaging strikes.


China’s economy showed some improvement in June as Covid restrictions were gradually eased, although the recovery remains muted. That’s the outlook based on Bloomberg’s aggregate index of eight early indicators for this month. The overall gauge returned to the neutral level after deteriorating for two straight months.

Japan’s factory output shrank at the fastest pace since the height of the pandemic as the lagged impact of China’s virus lockdowns continued to disrupt supply chains and economic activity in the region. The weakness in manufacturing extended across Asia, particularly in South Korea, Thailand, India and Taiwan.

Emerging Markets

Colombia’s central bank delivered its biggest interest rate increase in over two decades. Policy makers are bracing for another spike in annual inflation that’s already above 9%. 

Two years after Argentina emerged from its latest default, a debt crisis in brewing once again. This time, the immediate trouble is in the local bond market, where creditors have become reluctant to roll over maturing government bonds.

Zambia’s inflation rate dropped below 10% for the first time in almost three years in June, bucking a global trend of record consumer-price growth. Optimism over the nation’s economy since the election of Hakainde Hichilema as president in August, a potential debt restructuring and a $1.4 billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund has seen a rally in the local currency, which has helped contain prices.


Differences in underlying inflation trends call for different policy outlooks among the world’s top central banks, according to Bloomberg Economics. The Fed will have to go well into restrictive territory, the Bank of England may go a little above neutral and the European Central Bank might not even get that far.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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Quarterly Investment Guide 3Q 2022: US economy on shaky ground – CNBC



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Minister Of The Economy Franz Fayot On Luxembourg’s Transition Towards A Green Economy – Forbes



Just last week, Luxembourg’s Minister of the Economy, Franz Fayot, came to the cities of Toronto and Montreal as part of an economic mission organized by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in close cooperation with the Ministry of the Economy. I had the opportunity to sit down with Minister Fayot at the InterContinental Toronto Centre, and get some insights into the Grand-Duchy’s economic transition towards sustainability.

A transitioning economy

With up to one-third of its GDP related to the finance sector, Luxembourg’s economy is widely dominated by the financial sector. However, the past 20 years have been characterized by a push for economic diversification, and increased transparency and regulations following the financial crisis, said Minister Fayot.

“What we are trying to do is diversify [the economy] even more into new sectors to make us less dependent on the financial sector and adaptable to new circumstances,” he said. “We are also more and more developing a green finance sustainable finance sector, which is doing very well.”

A green state responsibility

Minister Fayot, whose guiding principles are a strong welfare state and sustainability, firmly believes that the government must assume its pivotal role in shifting the economy towards sustainability — “both in terms of environmental sustainability, but also social sustainability,” he added.

In June 2020, an international consultation was launched to gather strategic spatial planning project ideas considering the climate-related challenges and social issues, and support for the country’s ecological transition towards a zero-carbon territory by 2050.

“We need to understand that we have to help businesses innovate, and invest in the future,” said Minister Fayot.

A rising startup ecosystem

Luxembourg has seen a steady growth in startups over the past decade.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of the Economy launched a strategic initiative aimed at providing a thorough understanding of the startup ecosystem based on data analysis and interviews with key stakeholders.

Luxinnovation, the national innovation agency, identified over 500 active startups offering innovative digital and data-driven solutions in its latest mapping.

These assessments will also provide relevant comparisons with international markets, and aim to identify the necessary next steps for development opportunities in the upcoming years.

“Our innovation agency is there to guide startups, but also other more established businesses, to get access to grants,” explained Minister Fayot. “We have a state aid framework in Europe which we have to comply with, but the main message is that there is an obvious need to co-finance innovation, particularly in times when we are in this transition towards a more green economy.”

Going above the limits of territory

Surrounded by Belgium, France and Germany, Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in the world — slightly smaller than Rhode Island. Yet, despite its dependence on its neighboring countries’ energy supplies, it is making continuous efforts to increase its share of renewable energy by also investing in projects across its borders, said Minister Fayot.

“We don’t have that much sun in Luxembourg, and we don’t have an unlimited space to build wind power,” he said. “It’s a bit of a limiting factor, but it shouldn’t excuse anything.”

“We are investing a lot into energy efficiency,” he added. “We are trying to get people to e-mobility and pushing for geothermal heating and energy in new constructions.”

A growing space sector

Luxembourg might not be the first to come to mind when we think of space, but, the country owns one of the world-leading satellite operators, and is increasing its investment into space resources.

“The is an initiative that we launched about six years ago, and it is very much focused on the space resources segment of the space industry,” he said. “We are not launching anything in space out of Luxembourg, but focusing on services like space traffic management.”

As part of the economic mission, a group of space companies participated in a distinctive program set up by the Luxembourg Space Agency in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency. This included on-site company visits, workshops and B2B opportunities that led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two national space agencies.

Stephanie Ricci contributed to this story.

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