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All over the place

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  • The US is taking a day off today, although debate still rages around the impact of weather on the economic data. Certainly the bias of evidence tilts towards there being some weather impact, which should be reversed (weather impacts tend to be redistributive more than outright negatives).
  • China saw strong credit growth in December 2013 (the strongest for four years), signalling that the authorities are perhaps prepared to risk stronger credit data if it means that economic activity remains supported and unemployment remains low.
  • Japan's Q4 2014 GDP disappointed in both real and nominal terms. The economy is growing at half the real 2% target of Abenomics, and at less than a third of the 3% nominal target. Net exports dragged down the number, though domestic demand was not as good as had been hoped.
  • The calendar ahead is particularly quiet. UK Rightmove house prices rose further, but this is not a new phenomenon (though it reminds us that the Bank of England may be the first major bank to move on rates). Italy is expected to get a new government today, but this is not a new phenomenon either.

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