United States: The Fed to the Bank of England: You go first
This article from the Washington Post explains that with the economic recovery entering a new phase, the old rules pertaining to forward guidance no longer seem to fit. The unemployment rate is approaching the 6.5% threshold established by the Fed and may have already dropped below the 7.0% mark laid out by the Bank of England. However, both central banks seem to be pulling back on their promises to keep interest rates at record lows only until unemployment reaches these marks.
United Kingdom: Mark Carney switches forward guidance rules as growth forecasts hit 3.4 per cent
The Independent reports that Bank of England’s governor Mark Carney, introduced on 12 February the next phase of the forward guidance when delivering the quarterly inflation report. Carney declared that the rates will be on hold since there is still slack in the economy that needs to be used up. In addition, the Bank upgraded its growth forecast for 2014 from 2.8% to 3.4%. For 2015, it now expects growth of 2.7%, up from the 2.3% previously estimated.
China: China Said to Target 7.5% Export Growth in 2014
Bloomberg reports that according to unofficial sources, the Chinese government would set an export growth target of 7.5% for this year, which is a notch below the 7.9% increase recorded in 2013.
Venezuela: Two students and one pro-gov’t leader killed downtown Caracas
El Universal echoed that anti-government protesters clashed with the police in 12 February, leaving three people dead, in the worst episode of violence since Maduro’s victory in the April 2013 presidential election.
Greece: Greek unemployment rises to 28 percent, a record high
Kathimerini reports that the unemployment rate in Greece reached 28.0% in November, which was up from the 27.7% recorded in the previous month and marked a record high rate. In addition, numbers on youth unemployment show that it remained exceptionally high at 61.4%.