(Bloomberg) — Britons are about to experience a record drop in disposable incomes as Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt raises taxes and cuts spending to clean up an economy already in recession.
The UK program represents the sharpest retrenchment in government spending since the austerity budgets set out after the global financial crisis. The measures come as the nation’s inflation rate hit a 41-year high of 11.1% in October, more than five times the central bank’s target.
In the US, retail sales advanced by the most in eight months, suggesting the economy got off to a good start in the fourth quarter. Meantime, activity in China weakened last month, and Chile’s economy contracted the most on a quarterly basis since the start of the pandemic.
Here are some of the charts that appeared on Bloomberg this week on the latest developments in the global economy:
Hunt targeted wealthy people and energy companies in a £55 billion ($65 billion) package of tax rises and spending cuts aimed at cleaning up the mess left by unprecedented shocks to the economy. The measures set out by the chancellor will contribute to a 7% drop in the disposable incomes of consumers over the next two years, the biggest squeeze on record, and will wipe out eight years of gains.
Energy bills drove UK inflation to a stronger-than-forecast 41-year high in October, adding to pressure on the government and Bank of England to act. The Consumer Prices Index increased 11.1% from a year ago, more than five times the central bank’s target.
US producer price growth stepped down in October by more than expected in the latest sign that inflationary pressures are beginning to ease. The data come on the heels of a smaller-than-expected monthly increase in the October consumer price index, which was welcomed as a sign that the fastest price increases in decades are finally be starting to ebb.
US retail sales posted the biggest increase in eight months in October, indicating demand for goods is broadly holding up despite decades-high inflation and a worsening economic outlook. The data suggest the economy got off to a good start in the fourth quarter, and may complicate the argument posed by several Federal Reserve officials pushing for a slower pace of interest-rate hikes in the coming months.
Port of New York and New Jersey kept its crown as the busiest in the US despite a slight drop in cargo movement as California’s top marine hubs continue to clear up backlogs and deal with uncertainty around dockworker labor talks.
Banks will return €296.3 billion ($308 billion) of cheap loans to the European Central Bank after their terms were toughened to help the battle against record inflation. The repayment represents just under 15% of the total outstanding amount of so-called TLTRO loans, which were used during the pandemic to keep credit flowing to households and businesses.
Economies in the European Union’s east slowed in the third quarter as consumers were hit by spiking energy costs triggered by Russia’s war in neighboring Ukraine and soaring interest rates. As the euro area tips into recession, eastern Europe has been particularly plagued by double-digit inflation, forcing central banks to embark on a rapid series of rate increases since last year.
Emerging & Frontier Markets
Uzbekistan ended decades of economic isolation at a time when ultra-low interest rates made it an appealing destination for foreign capital — all the while remaining heavily reliant on remittances from its workers in Russia. To keep up the momentum of an economy that’s already projected to be among the fastest growing among post-Soviet states, Uzbekistan will look to the sale of land and aims to raise about $1 billion next year by divesting state assets, Deputy Prime Minister Jamshid Kuchkarov, who also serves as minister of economic development, said in an interview.
Chile’s economy contracted the most on a quarterly basis since the start of the pandemic, pinning the nation on the brink of recession after both annual inflation and the interest rate hit multi-decade highs.
China’s economic activity weakened in October, putting pressure on Beijing to ramp up support after it took major steps in the past week to reduce the drag on consumers from Covid Zero policies and a property slump. Retail sales fell and industrial output growth weakened.
It’s been a miserable year for the global economy. But things can always get worse. An extreme downside scenario could wipe out some $5 trillion in global output, compared with more upbeat forecasts at the start of this year, according to Bloomberg Economics.
Rwanda’s central bank increased interest rates for the third time this year to the highest level since 2016 after roaring inflation led it to revise forecasts. Policymakers in Uruguay, Indonesia and the Philippines also raised rates.
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