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BOV Market Watch - Week ending 14th January 2022
14 Jan 2022
US consumer price growth continues to accelerate in December.  A highly anticipated report released by the Labour Department on Wednesday showed that US consumer prices rose by 0.5 percent in December to push the increase in the cost-of-living last year to seven percent. That is the highest in almost 40 years and indicates that high inflation is likely to persist well into 2022. The gain in the consumer price index exceeded the 0.4 percent forecast by economists. Core consumer price inflation that leaves out volatile food and energy prices rose by 0.6 percent last month, according to the report. That pushed the increase over the past 12 months to 5.5 percent from 4.9 percent - a 31-year high. Inflation has soared in the past months due to strong customer demand and ongoing labour and supply shortages and caused the Federal Reserve to signal that it will tighten monetary conditions earlier than anticipated.

US economy grew at modest pace to close 2021 – Fed Beige Book. The US economy grew at a modest pace in the closing weeks of 2021 as ongoing supply-chain issues and labour shortages held back production, the Federal Reserve (Fed) said on Wednesday. But demand remained resilient and consumer spending grew, before a rise in Covid-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant, the Fed said in its periodic collection of business anecdotes from around the country known as the Beige Book. With regard to inflation, the Beige Book said contacts from most districts reported solid consumer price growth but noted price increases had decelerated a bit from the robust pace experienced in recent months.

UK GDP growth accelerates to pre-pandemic level in November. The UK economy has recovered to its pre-pandemic level, after a surge of growth in November. UK gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.9 percent in November, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows, as the economy picked up after growth slowed to just 0.2 percent in October. This means that GDP is 0.7 percent above its level in February 2020, just before the first wave of Covid-19 pandemic hit - a milestone in the recovery from the pandemic. However, this recovery came just before the Omicron variant hit the UK, causing disruption in December. The report shows that in November, there was an increase in output in all sectors, with services output the main driver of GDP growth. Services output grew by 0.7 percent.

China’s inflation pressures ease, adding to rate cut calls. China’s inflation eased in December thanks to falling food and commodity costs, with analysts saying Wednesday's figures give policymakers room to launch measures to kickstart the stuttering economy, including interest rate cuts. Consumer price inflation slowed to 1.5 percent in December from 2.3 percent in November, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The rate was expected to slow to 1.8 percent. Food prices fell by 1.2 percent from a year earlier and non-food prices advanced by 2.1 percent. Core inflation held steady at 1.2 percent.

India industrial production rises less than expected. India's industrial production grew less than expected in November, data published by the statistics ministry revealed on Wednesday. India’s Index of Industrial Production (IIP) recorded 1.4 percent in the month of November 2021. The forecast IIP was pegged at 3.24 percent. The manufacturing sector, which constitutes 77.63 percent of the index, grew by 0.9 percent in November. At the same time, the mining sector grew by five percent, while power generation increased by 2.1 percent. During April to November, industrial production surged by 17.4 percent from the previous year.
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Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is a public limited company regulated by the MFSA and is licensed to carry out the business of banking and investment services in terms of the Banking Act (Cap. 371 of the Laws of Malta) and the Investment Services Act (Cap.370. of the Laws of Malta).