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Fed to hike in Q4 next year; inflation to remain above target until 2024: Reuters poll

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November 19, 2021

By Shrutee Sarkar

BENGALURU (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve will raise interest rates late next year, earlier than expected just a month ago, in a landmark shift from the emergency measures it took to backstop the U.S. economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Reuters poll.

    Most respondents said the Fed should move even sooner to combat inflation, which hit a 30-year high last month and economists say it will stick above the central bank’s target until at least 2024.

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The shift in economists’ expectations for a first rate hike to next year from early 2023 predicted in an October survey puts them more in line with market expectations, and follows recent news U.S. inflation hit a 30-year high last month.

With disrupted global supply chains and a sharply-improved job market, the Fed, like most major central banks, is expected to move sooner rather than later.

The Nov. 15-18 poll predicted the Fed would raise rates by 25 basis points to 0.25-0.50% in Q4 2022, followed by two more hikes in Q1 and Q2 2023. The fed funds rate was expected to reach 1.25-1.50% by the end of 2023.

But nearly two-thirds of economists, 27 of 42, who responded to an additional question on what they recommended the Fed ought to do said the Fed should raise rates earlier, by the end of September next year.

“The double-whammy of a cost and wage push into prices is likely leaving the Fed uncomfortable. The risks of earlier hikes – next summer, if not before – are on the rise,” said Michelle Meyer, U.S. economist at Bank of America Securities.

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“To the extent that inflation expectations march higher over the longer run and consumers continue to react negatively to higher prices on the view that they will prove persistent, the more likely the Fed will damper the inflationary pressure with tighter monetary policy.”

Reuters Poll: U.S. monetary policy outlook – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/polling/lgpdwngjzvo/U.S.%20monetary%20policy%20outlook.png

High inflation is a concern for central banks around the world, some of which have already raised rates or are close to doing so. The Fed, for its part, is expected to taper its $120 billion in monthly bond purchases from this month.

The consensus view for change in the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, the Fed’s key inflation gauge, was predicted to stay above 4% this quarter and next, double the 2% target. It’s then forecast to slow in the second half of 2022, along with growth.

Those forecasts were upgraded from last month.

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“The whiff of stagflation is getting stronger as shortages worsen, leading to surging prices and weaker real GDP growth. Shortages of goods and intermediate inputs will eventually ease, although not for at least six to 12 months,” said Paul Ashworth, chief North America economist at Capital Economics.

“But the drop in the labour force appears to be more permanent, which suggests the pandemic could have a long-term scarring effect on potential GDP after all.”

After expanding 6.7% in the second quarter on an annualized basis, U.S. economic growth was expected to have slowed to 2.0% in the third quarter before expanding 4.8% this quarter. That compared with 3.8% and 5.0% predicted in October for the third and fourth quarters, respectively.

On average, the economy was expected to grow 3.9% next year, 2.6% in 2023 and 2.3% in 2024. That compared with previous forecasts of 4.0% for 2022, 2.5% for 2023 and 2.2% in 2024.

While the unemployment rate was predicted to range between 3.6% and 4.3% until the end of 2023, over 55% of 39 respondents who answered another question said consumer spending in the U.S. would improve over the coming year.

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(Reporting by Shrutee Sarkar; Polling by Prerana Bhat and Arsh Mogre; Editing by Ross Finley and Nick Zieminski)

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Apple starts legal action against Russian regulator in App Store dispute -RIA

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December 6, 2021

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Apple has started legal proceedings against Russia’s anti-monopoly regulator in a dispute concerning alternative payment options on its App Store platform, the RIA news agency reported on Sunday citing court filings.

Russia opened an antitrust case against Apple in late October, accusing it of failing to allow app developers to tell customers about alternative payment options when using its App Store. It said Apple could face a fine based on its revenue in Russia if found guilty.

In documents published on Dec. 1, the Moscow Arbitration Court listed Apple as a claimant and Russia’s Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) as a defendant in “economic disputes over administrative legal relations.”

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Apple, which did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment, demanded that additional documents be added to the case on Dec. 2, RIA reported.

Forbes Russia cited a FAS representative as saying that the proceedings related to a warning it issued on Aug. 30 over Apple’s alleged failure to inform users they could also pay for purchases outside the App Store.

The FAS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple faced pushback over its App Store rules in the United States in September when a federal judge issued a ruling forcing the company to allow developers to send their users to other payment systems.

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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Weaker foreign demand sinks German industrial orders in October

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December 6, 2021

By Michael Nienaber

BERLIN (Reuters) -Weaker demand from abroad drove a much bigger than expected drop in German industrial orders, including cars, in October, data showed on Monday, further clouding the growth outlook for manufacturers in Europe’s largest economy.

A pandemic-related scarcity of microchips and other electronic components has caused massive supply bottlenecks and production problems in Germany’s mighty automobile industry and other important sectors of the economy.

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Orders for goods ‘Made in Germany’ dropped 6.9% on the month in seasonally adjusted terms after a revised rise of 1.8% in September and a plunge of 8.8% in August, figures from the Federal Statistics Office showed.

A Reuters poll of analysts had pointed to a smaller decline of 0.5% on the month in October.

“After incoming orders climbed to an all-time high in mid-2021, the index has lost more than 16 points in recent months,” the economy ministry said, adding that the second sharp decline within three months put a further damper on the economic outlook.

Excluding distorting factors from bookings for big ticket items such as planes, industrial orders were still down 1.8%, the data showed.

The drop was driven by a decline in foreign orders of more than 13% on the month, with demand from countries outside the euro zone such as China particularly weak. Orders from domestic clients rose 3.4%.

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“New lockdowns in Asia are slowing industry in Germany,” VP Bank analyst Thomas Gitzel said. He added that the current wave of coronavirus infections across the globe was putting a renewed burden on the world economy.

Gitzel said that domestic demand should remain strong, helped by the new ruling coalition’s commitment to massive investment in the green economy.

“The decarbonization of the economy requires major investments in new technologies. German industry can and will benefit from this,” Gitzel said.

The weak orders data suggest that manufacturing will hamper overall economic growth in the coming months, with analysts expecting stagnation at best in the final quarter of this year.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber, editing by Kirsti Knolle and Philippa Fletcher)

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Marketmind: Chasing the Omicron dip

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December 6, 2021

A look at the day ahead from Julien Ponthus.

Buying the dip triggered by the Omicron COVID-19 variant across global markets has proven a costly strategy so far. But some investors seem determined to have another go.

European and U.S. stocks futures are trading sharply higher after ending last week on a sour note and notwithstanding a dismal day in Asia where an MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost about 0.9%.

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The region has seen a series of corporate setbacks after ride-hailing giant Didi decided to withdraw from the New York stock exchange last week.

Shares in China Evergrande, the world’s most indebted developer, plunged 14% after it said there was no guarantee it would have enough funds to meet debt repayments.

Another giant, Alibaba dropped 5% after announcing it would reorganise its international and domestic e-commerce businesses. And U.S. regulatory opposition to the sale of Softbank-owned chip firm Arm pushed the Japanese conglomerate 8% lower.

But the mood is lighter already across Europe, allowing 10-year Treasury yields to claw back some of Friday’s falls which took them below 1.4% for the first time since late September.

There are five trading sessions left before Friday’s U.S. consumer price report which some reckon will provide the green light for the Federal Reserve to accelerate its tapering of bond purchases.

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Oil prices too rose by more than $1 a barrel after Saudi Arabia raised prices for its crude sold to Asia and the United States.

And if the market mood is perking up, there is no sign of that in Bitcoin which has fallen further and is now at $48,244 — some $20,000 below peaks hit a month ago.

Key developments that should provide more direction to markets on Monday:

-Vivendi is open to discuss with Rome over state control on TIM’s network

-Alibaba overhauls e-commerce businesses, names new CFO

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-Swiss National Bank Vice Chairman Zurbruegg to retire in July 2022

-Weaker foreign demand sinks German industrial orders in October

-CBI cuts UK economic growth forecasts on supply chain hit

-Euro zone finance ministers to discuss 2022 draft budgets, euro summit

– Russian President Vladimir Putin visits India

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– UK construction PMI/new car sales

-Euro zone finance ministers to discuss 2022 draft budgets, euro summit

BOE deputy Governor Broadbent, ECB Governor Lagarde and board member Panetta speak:

(Reporting by Julien Ponthus; editing by Sujata Rao)

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