– Europe: A survey by IPSO revealed that staff trust in the ECB’s senior management team is lower than a year ago, with nearly 60% of respondents expressing a negative view. The ECB’s president and board are focused on their mandate and have implemented policies to respond to unprecedented events. Approximately 53.5% of those surveyed believed that former IMF chief Christine Lagarde was not the best candidate to lead the ECB at this time.
– Poland: Polish industry continued to fall, although less than expected. December saw a 3.9% YoY decline in Poland’s industrial production, which was less than the country’s prediction of 6.4% and consensus of -5.2%. Additionally, November’s decline was revised upward from -0.7% to 0.3%.
Services and manufacturing activity data will be released tomorrow with PMIs for Europe, the UK and the US.
– Asia: if 2023 was a year of concern about China’s economic slowdown, this year we start with Thailand and South Korea, which seem to be showing signs of economic weakness. People from the Central Bank of Thailand have assured that there is no crisis, but the growth rate for 2024 has been lowered to 2.8%. South Korea, according to Reuters estimates, will post slower-than-expected growth for the fourth quarter of 2023.
– Japan: The region’s second-largest economy, Japan, will remain unchanged in monetary policy. The Bank of Japan has left negative rates unchanged but has announced that it will soon end this monetary policy. If wages rise, inflation will rise, and then the Bank of Japan will start with its rate hike. It is worth noting that interest rates have remained negative in Japan since 2016, and that the last rate hike was in 2007, which was openly criticized. The latest estimates presented are an inflation rate of 2.4% for 2024, compared to October’s estimates of 2.8% inflation for the same period.
– Geopolitics: yesterday a document signed by Putin last week went viral. It would be a decree allocating funds for the search, registration, and legal protection of Russian property abroad, including in the former territories of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. This would include Alaska, which could be declared occupied territory, as well as swathes of Central and Eastern Europe, large swathes of Central Asia, and parts of Scandinavia.
Once again, there have been attacks by US and UK forces on Yemeni shores. Huties forces claim to have attacked another US ship.
In relation to the Israel and Gaza war, US yesterday called on Israel to exercise restraint in its attacks on hospitals. Troops stormed Al-Khair hospital and detained medical staff, Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra told Reuters. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Monday that Israel had a right to defend itself, but added: “We expect them to do so in accordance with international law and to protect innocent people in hospitals, medical staff and patients as well, to the extent possible.”
Both US and EU representatives have called for a two-state solution to end the conflict and reduce the impact on civilians, but Israel has pushed back against calls for a Palestinian state, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday reaffirmed a hard line, saying any Palestinian state would pose “an existential danger” to Israel.