United States: Janet Yellen takes office at the Fed
Janet Yellen was officially appointed to lead the Fed: fifty-six senators voted in favour of Ms Yellen with 26 opposed. Although most analysts expect Ms Yellen to continue Mr Bernanke’s efforts to boost the US economy by keeping short term interest rates low, she will eventually face unchartered territory once the central bank begins to ease back on its extraordinary measures, as the BBC reported.
Thailand: Thai Protesters Prepare to Shut Down Bangkok
Voice of America reports that the political crisis deepens in Thailand. Anti-government protesters are expected to block government offices and key intersections for days, starting from 13 January. The protesters want the resignation of the Prime Minister Yinluck Shinawatra.
Venezuela: Venezuelan Government to “Establish New Economic Order” Next Year after 56.2% Inflation in 2013
Venezuelanalysis reports that inflation decelerated in November and December due to goverment efforts to crack down on “speculative prices”. Moreover, according to President Nicolas Maduro, the economy expanded 1.6% in 2013.
China: Will the reforms speed growth in China?
In this article, Michael Pettis argues that we can judge the forceful implementation of the reforms inversely with GDP growth. If China is able to impose an orderly adjustment quickly, its GDP growth rate will slow substantially for several years.
Germany: German Unemployment Declines as Recovery Strengthens
Bloomberg reports that in December, unemployment fell for the first time in five months. The number of unemployed declined 15,000 to 2.965 million in seasonally-adjusted terms. However, the adjusted jobless rate remained unchanged at 6.9%.