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Time to hike? (not really, but...)

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  • The US Federal Reserve seems unfazed by the light dusting of snow on the Eastern seaboard, with three Fed districts going so far as to call for a discount rate hike. Fed governor Tarullo suggested that size was not everything when it came to the Fed balance sheet - what you did with it also mattered.
  • New home sales data from the US is expected to be weather affected - despite their love of the SUV, Americans do appear to be reluctant to actually drive their all-terrain vehicles through the snow in order to engage in economic activity.
  • Q4 UK GDP is due to be estimated again, with no change in the headline 2.8% yoy growth rate projected. The details may attract some attention as economists ponder the balance or lack of balance in UK growth.
  • Italy has a new government; economists are valiantly trying to contain the instinctive cynicism that greets such a statement. France's finance minister declared the government did not need more time to meet the 3% deficit objective (for 2015), but the European Commission forecasts for the deficit are above the official French estimates.

Listen to the audio version of this briefing.