Top-of-mind economic headlines as we start the week:
— The European Central Bank exited negative interest rates, raising its key rate to around zero (up 75 basis points) to curb inflation.
— New weekly claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell slightly; there are 11 million job openings, 2x the number of job seekers.
— China’s economy is expected to grow only 3% or less this year (vs. 5%+ Chinese forecast), as Covid lockdowns affecting an estimated third of the population add to weakness in the real estate sector.
— The EU backed away from imposing price caps only on Russian gas; Europe now gets only 7% of its gas from Russia vs. 40% before start of Ukraine war, as Russia has cut off supplies.
— Corporations in developed countries need to double their emission-reduction targets to fend off the worst impacts of global warming.
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