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Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary: Fending Off Omicron…for Now

Summary

United States: Fending Off Omicron…for Now

  • Consumer confidence improved even as inflation is as high as it has been since the 1980s. Personal spending rose 0.6%, but after accounting for inflation, real spending was flat.
  • While still hot, the housing market came off the boil a bit with both existing and new home sales rising in November but still coming in well short of consensus expectations.

International: Risks to U.K. Economic Outlook Rising, Turkish Lira Whipsaws

  • On a quarterly basis, U.K. GDP data were revised lower in Q3, a sign the British economic recovery is still struggling to gather momentum. In Turkey, the lira has been under extreme pressure, and this year has been no different.

Interest Rate Watch: Markets Starting to Price March Fed Rate Hikes?

  • As inflationary pressures persist, the economy broadly strengthens and the labor market tightens, we expect the Fed to continue tightening monetary policy throughout 2023. Financial markets are also adjusting to a more hawkish pivot from the Fed as well.

Credit Market Insights: Chinese Developer Defaults Weigh on High-Yield Market

  • Due to stresses in the Chinese real estate market, Fitch has downgraded Evergrande and Kaisa, two large Chinese property developers, to default status.

Topic of the Week: Omicron Rattles Holiday Plans, but Consumers Are Keeping Their Heads High

  • The Omicron variant has recently given consumers an unfriendly reminder that going into 2022, the public health situation remains precarious. Recently, major holiday cancellations have been on the rise as cases surge nationwide. There is no doubt that many plans remain up in the air, but as we say farewell to 2021, one elephant in the room remains. How will consumers grapple with Omicron in 2022?

Full report here.

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