Weekly Fundamental Bulletin: Japan & Eurozone GDP Data On Tap

Last week’s highlights

Australia building permits jump over 10% in December

As expected, the total number of building permits issued in December rose 10.9% on the month in Australia.

In the previous month, building permits rose by 2.6%. Private sector homes saw the biggest gains, as permits grew at a rate of 15.8% on the month.

Meanwhile, permits for private sector dwellings rose by 2.3%. On a year over year basis, Australian building permits climbed 22.8%.

The housing permits data comes as consumer confidence measures are showing a modest improvement post-lockdown.

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Powell: US job market still a long way from recovery

The Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell spoke at the Economic Club of New York on Wednesday last week.

The Chairman of the Federal Reserve said that the US job market was a long way off from a full recovery. He called on both the private and the public sector to support workers.

The speech comes as the latest January jobs report saw the nonfarm payrolls rising 49k with the data for the previous two months revised down by 159k.

Powell’s speech cemented the fact that the Fed will maintain interest rates at the current levels for the foreseeable future. The comments also squashed some speculation that the Fed would taper its QE purchases.

US inflation unchanged in January

The latest consumer price index data, a key measure of prices paid by US consumers was unchanged in January. This marks a second consecutive month when consumer prices were unchanged, underscoring the impact of the pandemic.

The headline CPI rose by 0.3% on a monthly basis but was unchanged at 1.4% on the year. Meanwhile, the core CPI data which excludes the volatile food and energy prices rose by 0.2% on the month while increasing 1.4% on the year.

Economists expect that inflation will firm in the coming months, especially if Congress passes another aid package.

UK economy contracts at a record pace in 2020

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