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Week Ahead – Rate hikes keep coming

Will a recession follow? It’s been a slow start to the month in financial markets but the ECB rate decision on Thursday finally got things moving and…



Will a recession follow?

It’s been a slow start to the month in financial markets but the ECB rate decision on Thursday finally got things moving and the US inflation data on Friday kept it going into the weekend. With so much to look forward to next week, it’s going to get really interesting.

The Fed rate decision on Wednesday is naturally the highlight, as traders look for further indications of the level of tightening that’s going to be required and whether it will ultimately tip the economy into recession. The inflation data did not make for good reading for policymakers.

The BoE is expected to raise rates on Thursday but could it be tempted to go super-sized like many of its peers? Markets suggest there’s an outside chance. Then there’s the BoJ on Friday which has a very different problem to many of its peers.

How many more super-sized Fed hikes?

Will the BoE join the 50 basis point club?

Can the BoJ be tempted to tighten monetary policy?


The main event of the week will be the FOMC decision on Wednesday.  The Fed is widely expected to deliver a half-point rate increase and to signal more are coming as inflation remains scorching hot.  The Fed will need to signal more aggressive hikes are warranted and that they will do what is needed to get inflation under control. 

It is a busy week for economic data and it will start on Tuesday with PPI likely to tell a similar story as Friday’s hot inflation report. In addition to the Fed decision, Wednesday has two big reports: The Empire manufacturing survey should show a modest rebound. Most traders will fixate over retail sales for May, which could show consumer spending is weakening. Thursday will see the release of housing starts, jobless claims, and the Philly Fed business outlook. 

The 2022 midterms are not that far away and many traders will pay close attention to see if Republicans have a clean sweep.  Tuesday has primaries in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, and South Carolina.       


A quiet week for the euro area with final inflation data among the highlights. Big revisions to the upside would pile further misery on households and businesses, not to mention the ECB which has finally come around to the idea that something needs to be done. And it absolutely will, a little bit next month and maybe more so again next quarter. The ECB really knows how to address urgent problems. Central bank speak including Christine Lagarde later in the week will be of interest although markets have already gone ahead and priced in 1.5% of hikes this year. Why bother waiting for the ECB to inevitably catch up?

The first round of French parliamentary elections will take place on Sunday.


The highlight next week is obviously the Bank of England meeting, with the central bank expected to hike by another 25 basis points to 1.25%. Given the shift of gear from numerous other central banks recently, could the MPC be persuaded to join the 50 basis point club? Markets view a one in three chance of it happening. It arguably should be higher given the same central bank is expecting double-digit inflation later in the year.

Next week also offers the usual data dump that comes around the third week of the month, with jobs, retail sales, GDP and industrial production figures all due. Needless to say, it’s going to be eventful for the pound.


Next week is relatively quiet for Russia, with revised GDP for Q1 the only notable release. The CBR cut rates to pre-war levels on Friday at 9.5% but the currency remains near its recent highs thanks to a ballooning current account as imports have collapsed in the aftermath of the invasion. 

The central bank has been patient in cutting rates again in the hope of lowering inflation which fell to 17.1% in May, down from 17.8% in April, giving the impression it may have peaked. With the economy performing better than feared and inflation heading in the right direction, further rate cuts could follow in an attempt to revive consumer demand and support the economy.

South Africa

A quiet week with retail sales on Wednesday the only notable release.


Nothing much on offer next week from Turkey, with the focus still being on the collapse of the lira as the most vulnerable EM currencies are punished in the global tightening environment. While the Turkish government and central bank repeatedly try to deflect blame for the currency woes and surging inflation, the blame lies much closer to home as the monetary experiment continues to go from bad to worse. 


China releases industrial output, retail sales and fixed asset investment on Wednesday and the 1-year MLF rate in the second half of the week. Chinese data should improve on the appalling April numbers in May as Shanghai and Beijing reopen, but will still be weak to negative. The 1-year MLF rate should stay unchanged at 2.85% as China persists with targetted stimulus aimed at MSME’s.

The main driver of volatility will be the Covid-zero policy with China announcing that 7 of Shanghai’s 16 districts will be tested over the weekend. Markets have been complacent around Covid-zero believing China was one and done. Unfortunately, omicron doesn’t work that way and if strict lockdowns spread once again, Chinese equities will be pummelled. Watch for developments on this front over the weekend and during the week.


India hiked rates again this past week and the RBI will be closely watching Wednesday’s inflation release for May. Inflation is expected to fall to around 7.0% from 7.80%, but a higher print will see RBI tightening expectations ratcheted up, which could weigh heavily on local equities.

Notably, the RBI rate hike and hawkish outlook did not benefit the Indian rupee this week and it remains near record lows at 77.800 to the US Dollar. A hawkish FOMC next week and softer inflation data could spur another bout of weakness in the currency. High oil prices are also another serious headwind.


Australian unemployment on Thursday is the only material data point this week and is usually only good for intraday volatility.

Both Australian equities and the AUD remain under pressure with the price action particularly negative on AUD/USD. Wobbly risk sentiment globally has pushed the currency lower, and fears over renewed Chinese lockdowns are also weighing heavily as a proxy for China. Readers should watch virus developments in China for directional inputs on AUD.

New Zealand

NZ GDP on Thursday and Business PMI on Friday are both expected to retreat sharply. Nerves continue rising around the NZ economy as it slows while the RBNZ tightens policy. Poor data this week could weigh heavily on the NZD/USD, which, like AUD/USD, is also extremely vulnerable to negative virus developments/slowdown risk from China this week.


The Bank of Japan announces its monetary policy decision on Friday, a day after the FOMC announcement (Asian time). Despite the huge fall in the Japanese yen in the past week, it would be an enormous surprise if Japan tinkered with monetary policy. Given the weight of long USD/JPY positioning out there, a tightening move by the BOJ, no matter how tenuous, could see USD/JPY correct strongly.

Otherwise, the yen continues to be pummeled as US yields rise back above 3.0%, widening the US/Japan rate differential.

Japan releases industrial production on Monday, and the Tankan Survey and Machinery Orders on Tuesday. Both should show a slight improvement on the economic reopening and a weaker yen, but will only drive short-term intraday liquidity. 


Singapore releases non-oil exports on Friday. A volatile series and poor data could be a short-term negative factor for local stocks. The SGD has been heavy this week and negative virus developments from China in the week ahead could accelerate USD/SGD strength.

Economic Calendar

Sunday, June 12

Economic Data/Events

France holds the first round of parliamentary elections

The World Trade Organization begins its ministerial meeting 

Monday, June 13

Economic Data/Events

China medium-term lending

India CPI

Japan business conditions index

New Zealand net migration

Turkey current account, industrial production

UK industrial production, trade data

Norway monthly GDP

ECB’s Luis De Guindos participates in a meeting on “The challenges of enhancing financial stability in the recovery phase from the Corona pandemic” organized by the Arab Monetary Fund.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi travels to Israel

Tuesday, June 14

Economic Data/Events


Australia household spending, business confidence

Germany CPI, ZEW survey expectations

India trade, wholesale prices

Japan industrial production, capacity utilization

Mexico international reserves

New Zealand food prices

UK jobless claims, unemployment

ECB’s Schnabel speaks at Universite Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne

Wednesday, June 15

Economic Data/Events

FOMC Decision: To raise rates by a half-point and update economic projections

US cross-border investment, business inventories, empire manufacturing, retail sales

Poland CPI

Germany CPI

France CPI

Sweden CPI

Australia consumer confidence

Canada housing starts, existing home sales

China retail sales, industrial production, surveyed jobless rate, fixed assets, residential property sales

Eurozone industrial production, trade balance

Japan machinery orders, tertiary index

New Zealand BoP, current account GDP ratio

Russia GDP

South Africa retail sales

ECB President Christine Lagarde participates in a discussion hosted by the London School of Economics

ECB’s Mario Centeno, Pablo Hernandez de Cos, Klaas Knot and Joachim Nagel speak at Young Factor web event

ECB’s Panetta gives an introductory statement at a hearing on the digital euro before the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs in the European Parliament

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson due to take questions in Parliament

Thursday, June 16

Economic Data/Events

US housing starts, initial jobless claims

Australia unemployment, consumer inflation expectations

China property prices

Eurozone new car registrations

Hungary one-week deposit rate

Italy CPI

Japan trade, department store sales

New Zealand GDP

Spain trade

Switzerland rate decision: No change expected with Policy Rate

UK BOE rate decision: Expected to raise Bank Rate by 25bps to 1.25%

ECB’s Centeno, de Cos, de Guindos, Knot, Vasle, Visco and Villeroy speak at Young Factor web event.

ECB’s Panetta speaks at European Payments Council’s 20th-anniversary event in Brussels.

ECB’s Vasle speaks at a Slovenian banking conference.

Friday, June 17

Economic Data/Events

US Conference Board leading index, industrial production

BOJ Rate Decision: To stand pat on rates

Eurozone CPI

Hong Kong jobless rate

Italy trade

UK retail sales

New Zealand PMI

Singapore non-oil domestic exports, electronic exports

Thailand foreign reserves, forward contracts, car sales

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Biden Signs Bill To Declassify COVID Origins Intel

Biden Signs Bill To Declassify COVID Origins Intel

Having earlier issued his first veto since taking office, rejecting a bill that would have…



Biden Signs Bill To Declassify COVID Origins Intel

Having earlier issued his first veto since taking office, rejecting a bill that would have reversed a Labor Department rule on ESG investing, President Biden signed a bipartisan bill late on Monday that directs the federal government to declassify as much intelligence as possible about the origins of COVID-19.

His signature follows both the House and Senate unanimously approving of the measure, a rare moment of overwhelming bipartisan consensus.

The vote tallies meant that the measure would likely have survived a presidential veto had Biden opted to withhold his signature.

Biden, in a statement, said he was pleased to sign the legislation.

“My Administration will continue to review all classified information relating to COVID–19’s origins, including potential links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” he said.

"In implementing this legislation, my administration will declassify and share as much of that information as possible, consistent with my constitutional authority to protect against the disclosure of information that would harm national security."

Of particular interest to freedom-loving Americans who were tyrannized, censored, banned, and deplatformed for even daring to mention it, is the small matter of whether the virus leaked from the Level 4 Virus Lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (or instead, as The Atlantic proclaimed recently, a sick pangolin fucked a raccoon dog and coughed in someone's bat soup in a wet market.

The Department of Energy and other federal agents such as the FBI have increasingly backed a lab leak as the likely origin of the virus, while some lawmakers have even suggested Beijing may have deliberately allowed it to spread.

Tyler Durden Mon, 03/20/2023 - 20:41

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Spread & Containment

Asia’s trade at a turning point

Policymakers in Asia are rightly focused on the potential reconfiguration of global supply chains, given the implications these shifts may have for the…



By Sebastian Eckardt, Jun Ge, Hassan Zaman

Policymakers in Asia are rightly focused on the potential reconfiguration of global supply chains, given the implications these shifts may have for the development of their export-oriented and highly open economies. While the focus on potential shifts on the supply side of the global and regional trading system is well-justified, equally dramatic shifts on the demand side deserve as much attention. This blog provides evidence of the growing role of final demand originating from within emerging Asia and draws policy implications for the further evolution of trade integration in the region.

Trade has been a major driver of development in East Asia with Korea and Japan reaching high-income status through export-driven development strategies. Emerging economies in East Asia, today account for 17 percent of global trade in goods and services. With an average trade-to-GDP ratio of 105 percent, these emerging economies in East Asia trade a higher share of the goods and services they produce across borders than emerging economies in Latin America (73.2 percent), South Asia (61.4 percent), and Africa (73.0 percent). Only EU member states (138.0 percent), which are known to be the most deeply integrated regional trade bloc in the world, trade more. Alongside emerging East Asia’s rise in global trade, intra-regional trade—trade among economies in emerging East Asia—has expanded dramatically over the past two decades. In fact, the rise of intra-regional trade accounted for a bit more than half of total export growth in emerging East Asia in the last decade, while exports to the EU, Japan, and the United States accounted for about 30 percent, a pattern that was briefly disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis. In 2021, intra-regional trade made up about 40 percent of the region’s total trade, the highest share since 1990.

Drivers of intra-regional trade in East Asia are shifting 

Initially, much of East Asia’s intra-regional trade integration was driven by rapidly growing intra-industry trade, which in turn reflected the spread of cross-border global value chains with greater vertical specialization and geographical dispersion of production processes across the region. This led to a sharp rise in trade in intermediate goods among economies among emerging economies in Asia, while the EU, Japan, and the United States remained the main export markets for final goods. Think semiconductors and other computer parts being traded from high-wage economies, like Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, China for final assembly to lower-wage economies, initially Malaysia and China and more recently Vietnam, with final products like TV sets, computers, and cell phones being shipped to consumers in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.

The sources of global demand have been shifting. Intra-regional trade no longer primarily reflects shifts in production patterns but is increasingly underpinned by changes in the sources of demand for exports of final goods. With rapid income and population growth, domestic demand growth in emerging East Asia has been strong in recent years, expanding by an average of 6.4 percent, annually over the past ten years, exceeding both the average GDP and trade growth during that period. China is now not only the largest trading partner of most countries in the region but also the largest source of final demand for the region, recently surpassing the U.S. and the EU. Export value-added absorbed by final demand in China climbed up from 1.6 percent of the region’s GDP in 2000 to 5.4 of GDP in 2021. At the same time, final demand from the other emerging economies in East Asia has also been on the rise, expanding from around 3 percent of GDP in 2000 to above 3.5 percent of GDP in 2021. While only about 12 cents of every $1 of export value generated by emerging economies in Asia in 2000 ultimately met consumer or investment demand within the region, today more than 30 cents meet final demand originating within emerging East Asia.

Figure 1. Destined for Asia

Source: OECD Inter-Country Input-Output (ICIO) Tables, staff estimates. Note: East Asia: EM (excl. China) refers to Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

These shifting trade patterns reflect dramatic shifts in the geography and makeup of the global consumer market. Emerging East Asia’s middle class has been rising fast from 834.2 million people in 2016 to roughly 1.1 billion in 2022. Today more than half of the population—54.5 percent to be precise—has joined the ranks of the global consumer class, with daily consumer spending of $12 per day or more. According to this definition, East Asia accounted for 29.0 percent of the global consumer-class population by 2022, and by 2030 one in three members of the world’s middle class is expected to be East Asian. Meanwhile, the share of the U.S. and the EU in the global consumer class is expected to decline from 19.2 percent to 15.8 percent. If we look at consumer-class spending, emerging East Asia is expected to become home to the largest consumer market sometime in this decade, according to projections, made by Homi Kharas of the Brookings Institution and others, shown in the figure below.

Figure 2. Reshaping the geography of the global consumer market

Figure 2

Source: World Bank staff estimates using World Data Pro!, based on various household surveys. Note: Middle-class is defined as spending more than $12 (PPP adjusted) per day. Emerging East Asia countries included in the calculation refer to Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and China.

Intraregional economic integration could act as a buffer against global uncertainties  

Emerging economies in Asia are known to be the factories of the world. They play an equally important role as rapidly expanding consumer markets which are already starting to shape the next wave of intra-regional and global trade flows. Policymakers in the region should heed this trend. Domestically, policies to support jobs and household income could help bolster the role of private consumption in the steady state in some countries, mainly China, and during shocks in all countries. Externally, policies to lower barriers to regional trade could foster deeper regional integration. While average tariffs have declined and are low for most goods, various non-tariff barriers remain significant and cross-border trade in services, including in digital services remains particularly cumbersome. Multilateral trade agreements, such as ASEAN, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) offer opportunities to address these remaining constraints. Stronger intraregional trade and economic integration can help diversify not just supply chains but also sources of demand, acting as a buffer against uncertainties in global trade and growth.

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Air pollution can increase the risk of COVID infection and severe disease – a roundup of what we know

Air pollution can increase COVID risk by weakening our immune defences and exacerbating underlying health conditions.




Tatiana Grozetskaya/Shutterstock

The early part of the COVID pandemic led to a significant reduction in air pollution in many parts of the world. With lockdowns, travel restrictions and decreased economic activity, there was a noticeable drop in the emission of air pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) and particulate matter (PM) that is fine enough to be inhaled.

Changes in air pollution varied depending on the location and the type of pollutant, but reductions were particularly noticeable in cities and industrial areas, where emissions from transport and industrial activities are typically high. In many areas though, air pollution levels quickly increased again as restrictions eased and activity resumed.

Along with having harmful effects on the environment, it’s well established that air pollution can have negative effects on human health, including increasing the risk of respiratory and heart problems and cancers. Emerging research suggests air pollution may also affect the brain and be linked to certain developmental issues in babies. The severity of these health effects can depend on the type and concentration of pollutants, as well as individual factors that affect a person’s susceptibility.

While there has been much focus on the way the pandemic affected air quality, it has also become apparent that air quality affects COVID risk – both in terms of the likelihood of contracting COVID and how sick people get with the infection.

How does air quality increase COVID risk?

Research has shown that long-term exposure to air pollution, particularly fine particulate matter under 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5) and NO₂, may increase the risk of COVID infection, hospitalisation, and death.

A study in England, for example, showed long-term exposure to PM2.5 and NO₂ is associated with 12% and 5% increases in COVID cases, respectively, for every additional microgram of PM2.5 or NO₂ per cubic metre of air.

One of the primary ways that air pollution may increase the risk of COVID is by weakening the respiratory system’s defences against viral infections. We know long-term exposure to fine particulate matter that is inhaled can reduce the lungs’ immune responses and cause damage to them, which can make people more vulnerable to respiratory infections like COVID.

Read more: Long COVID linked to air pollution exposure in young adults – new study

Air pollution can also impact the immune system’s ability to fight off viral infections. Exposure to particulate matter, such as PM2.5, has been linked to increased levels of cytokines and inflammation in the body.

Cytokines are signalling molecules that help the immune system fight infections. But high levels can cause a “cytokine storm”, where the immune system overreacts and attacks healthy cells in addition to the virus. Cytokine storms have been associated with severe COVID and a higher likelihood of dying from the disease.

And notably, COVID binds to ACE2 receptors to enter a cell. In studies of animals, PM2.5 exposure has been linked to a significant increase in ACE2 receptors. PM2.5 may therefore increase the probability of COVID entering cells in humans.

A crowd of people walking a New York street wearing masks.
There are a variety of factors which could explain why air pollution increases COVID risk. blvdone/Shutterstock

Further, air pollution may increase the severity of COVID symptoms by exacerbating underlying health conditions. Exposure to air pollution has been linked to increased rates of conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, which have been identified as risk factors for severe COVID.

Air pollution may also increase COVID transmission rates by acting as a carrier for the virus. Researchers continue to debate the potential of respiratory droplets from infected people attaching to particulate matter in the air and travelling long distances, potentially increasing the virus’s spread.

How can I reduce exposure to air pollutants?

With all this in mind, reducing air pollution levels may be an important strategy for mitigating the impact of COVID and protecting public health.

This requires a combination of individual actions and collective efforts to address the sources of pollution. There are several ways you can decrease your and others’ exposure to air pollution, including:

Limit outdoor activity during high-pollution days. Check air quality forecasts and limit outdoor activities on “high” days. Try to go outside at times of the day when pollution levels are lower, such as early morning or late evening.

Think about your mode of transport. Using public transport, walking or riding a bike instead of driving can help to reduce pollution levels. If you do drive, try to carpool or use an electric or hybrid vehicle.

Read more: Wuhan's lockdown cut air pollution by up to 63% – new research

Use indoor air filters. Having air filters in your home can help reduce indoor pollution levels. Hepa filters can remove many pollutants, including fine particulate matter. Further, the use of Hepa air systems can successfully filter COVID virus particles from the air.

Samuel J. White advises on air quality and receives funding from Fédération Equestre Internationale.

Philippe B. Wilson does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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