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Climate change considerations?

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  • Weather continues to distort US data downwards (the light dusting of snow on the East Coast is slowing things down). However, the Euro area weather is unseasonably mild and this may have helped to boost German confidence (though it does not appear to have been sunny enough for the French).
  • UK retail sales figures may be somewhat affected by the flooding, although urban areas (shopping centres) have not been as badly affected.  US home sales figures might suffer a bit from the weather, and there are a couple of Fed speakers (unlikely to be weather affected, unless they have caught colds).
  • The Bank of Japan minutes did a bit of pom-pom waving and general cheerleading on the economy, seemingly downplaying market hopes for additional stimulus. Maybe it is an attempt to influence expectations ahead of the March pay round?
  • The G20 finance ministers fly to Sydney (shortest flight for any of them, 7 hours) despite living in a world of smartphones with video call technology. Emerging market representatives will complain about quantitative policy being scaled back. Developed economy representatives will point out that emerging market problems are not their fault.

Listen to the audio version of this briefing.