United Kingdom: Interest rates unchanged in 2014, economists say
As reported by the BBC News and according to a poll among 28 economists, the great majority of them don’t see the Bank of England rising rates in 2014. Indeed, a representative of the Monetary Policy Comittee claimed that unemployment is expected to fall more this year, thus pushing demand, although if productivity increases, there should not be imminent worries about inflation.

Greece: Athens aims to settle debt issue while at EU helm
Kathimerini reports that Greece is officially assuming the presidency of the European Union for the next six months on Wednesday. During this period, Greece will try to reach an agreement with the international lenders on two key issues: the funding gap for this year and the next as well as the nature of its debt relief. Regarding the last issue, the finance minister Stournaras said that any debt relief is expected to comprise a reduction in interest rates and an extension on the maturities of Greece’s loans, not a new writedown of the country’s debt.

Latvia: Straujuma: next government in Latvia must follow the same course as the outgoing government
The recently appointed Prime Minister–and first woman in office–Laimdota Straujuma has pledged to ensure stability in the country, before the general elections take place in October this year.

Eurozone: Euro zone jobless at record high as retail sales surge
The unemployment rate in the Eurozone remained stuck at its record high of 12.1 percent in November, while retail sales rebounded over the month, rising at their fastest pace in 12 years.

Global: IMF plans to raise global economic growth forecast
As Bloomberg reports, the International Monetary Fund will raise its forecast for world growth, Managing Director Christine Lagarde said, underscoring confidence in the global recovery as the outlook for the U.S. improves. “As financial conditions in advanced economies normalize, the risk of heightened volatility in financial markets may create new challenges in emerging market economies,” Lagarde said.

For latest economic indicators from around the world, please visit us at FocusEconomics.

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