Today, it became known that Chinese leaders have approved new government plans to implement a package of additional measures that will primarily be aimed at supporting the economy and mitigating the consequences of the new coronavirus pandemic.
The Chinese Politburo said that the new measures include increasing the budget deficit in 2020, which will minimize the damage caused by the pandemic. President Xi Jinping also agreed to this proposal. Among the additional measures, the government plans to further increase the issue of Treasury bonds, as well as target bonds of local authorities. Businesses and companies are also lucky that the new loan terms now provide assistance at a lower interest rate.
During the meeting, the top political body of the PRC called on the government to speed up measures to stimulate domestic demand, since the rest of the external world is cut off due to the spread of the coronavirus, which is already affecting external demand. They also discussed stimulating consumer spending.
From the fundamental data released today in the morning, it is worth paying attention only to the report on the consumer confidence index in France, which in March this year fell to 103 points against 104 in February. The indicator was expected to decline to a level of 94 points. Such sustained consumer confidence is surprising. This suggests that many respondents are resilient in the face of a coronavirus pandemic and rely on the authorities to help them if necessary.
The German IFO employment barometer fell to 93.4 points in March this year from 98.0 points in February. The Ifo noted that many companies in Germany have put their own hiring plans on hold, but the most problematic place is in the sphere of trade and services, where there is just a record drop in the Ifo barometer.
It will be difficult for the Italian economy to survive the coronavirus pandemic, as the sharp decline in economic activity that is already being observed and will continue in the future will seriously affect GDP this year. An interesting study was published today, which indicates that many companies and consumers expect the economy to fall by at least 2.0%. However, these surveys do not yet take into account the complete paralysis across the country due to the suspension of companies and businesses. Most likely, the reduction in the 1st quarter of this year was more than 5.0%, and in the second quarter, we can expect an even greater drop in GDP, up to 10%.
Today's speech by Fed representative Robert Kaplan on the topic of credit support and economic problems did not differ much from recent statements made by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Kaplan pointed out that credit support for the economy will come very quickly, and it is quite appropriate that the Fed's measures also affect the fiscal sphere. As for the emergency lending measures currently used by the regulator, they will be curtailed at any time as soon as it becomes clear that the economy has returned to the path of growth. As for unemployment and inflation, the Fed representative is confident of a sharp jump in the first indicator and a decrease in the second. It is expected that by the end of the year, unemployment will be at the levels of 7%-8%.
The British pound collapsed against the US dollar, but then regained some of its positions after news that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was diagnosed with coronavirus. After the government confirmed that the Prime Minister was infected, the pound fell by more than 150 points from the highs of the day, but the market reaction was short-term.
*The market analysis posted here is meant to increase your awareness, but not to give instructions to make a trade.
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