The European Central Bank signaled a major policy reversal Thursday, flagging plans for fresh measures to stimulate the eurozone’s faltering economy less than three months after phasing out a €2.6 trillion ($2.9 trillion) bond-buying program, making it the first rich-country central bank to ease policy in response to a global slowdown.
The international trade deficit in goods and services widened 19% in December from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted $59.8 billion, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a $57.3 billion gap.
Sales of new U.S. single-family homes rose to a seven-month high in December, but November’s outsized jump was revised lower, pointing to continued weakness in the housing market.
Job growth has remained vibrant despite the slow-growing economy, and that’s a trend investors are anxious to see confirmed in the February employment report on Friday.
The goods trade deficit jumped 12.8 percent to $79.5 billion in December, boosted also by an increase in imports. Exports fell 2.8 percent amid steep declines in shipments of foods, industrial supplies and capital goods. Imports increased 2.4 percent driven by food and capital and consumer goods.
A report from the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan, published on Friday showed its worst-case scenario of a tariff of 25 percent would cost 366,900 U.S. jobs in the auto and related industries.
China will likely become more reliant on foreign capital as the country looks set to enter into years of shortfall in its current account, Morgan Stanley predicted in a report. “The economy’s current account is in long-term decline and the future growth of the economy will be increasingly dependent on foreign capital,” said the investment bank in a report on Tuesday.