The US Federal Reserve began an expected series of rate hikes by raising its interest rate by 0.25%.
Canadian inflation data came in slightly higher than had been expected yesterday, at a month on month increase of 1.0% compared to an anticipated 0.9%. This puts the annualized Canadian inflation rate at the 30-year high of 5.7%.US retail sales data came in much lower yesterday then had been expected, showing a monthly increase of only 0.2% compared to an expected 0.9%.New Zealand GDP data came in slightly lower than had been expected, showing a quarterly increase of 3% compared to an expected 3.3%.Australian employment data came in a little stronger than expected, showing the unemployment rate falling from 4.2% to 4.0% compared to the expected 4.1%.The Bank of England will today release its Monetary Policy and Official Bank Rate data, which is expected bring a unanimous rate hike of 0.25% to a new Bank Rate of 0.75%.Hong Kong is seeing a dramatic, record-breaking increase in coronavirus deaths, with more than 65% of over-80s unvaccinated amid a dramatic spread of infection. Hong Kong is currently recording a case fatality rate of more than 4.5% and is showing the highest per capita death rate of any country during the entire pandemic. The spread of the coronavirus on mainland China has triggered the government to impose lockdowns which are affecting tens of millions of citizens and forcing some companies to halt operations, endangering crucial supply chains.Daily new coronavirus cases globally rose last week for the first time since January, suggesting that the omicron variant is not ready to disappear yet.It is estimated that 63.8% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccination.Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 464.4 million with an average case fatality rate of 1.31%.The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be increasing only in Australia, Austria, Bhutan, Cyprus, China, Finland, Germany, Greece, South Korea, Laos, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Tonga, the UK, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.
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