ECB Sees Recovery, Italian Spring Hope, New WTO Chief: Eco Day

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Welcome to Monday, Europe. Here’s the latest news and analysis from Bloomberg Economics to help you start the week.

  • European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde predicted the euro-area recovery will pick up in the summer, while stressing that public authorities will have a difficult job weaning the economy off of emergency support
    • Lagarde will get another chance to drive home the message in the European Parliament in Brussels on Monday afternoon. Read the full preview of what to watch in the world economy this week
  • The Bank of Italy sees an increase in economic output in the spring even as continued fears over coronavirus infections weigh on a recovery in consumer spending, governor Ignazio Visco said
  • German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz stepped up his bid to return the Social Democrats to the chancellery after Angela Merkel leaves this fall, presenting a fiscally expansive platform to finance a sweeping shift to clean energy and better digital infrastructure
  • The U.K. is on track to vaccinate all people over age 50 by May and is already planning for a program of top-up immunizations to fight new variants of coronavirus from the autumn, officials said
    • Tesco Plc is leading calls for an online sales tax to be imposed on digital retailers such as Amazon, as U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak weighs up reforms to business levies ahead of next month’s budget
  • Money is edging closer toward its biggest reinvention in centuries as central banks start to embrace the creation of digital currencies
  • The incoming chief of the World Trade Organization has a reputation for shaking up the guardians of wealth and power that will come in handy in her new role
  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. can return to full employment in 2022 if it enacts a robust enough coronavirus stimulus package, but otherwise risks a slower rebound in jobs and the economy
    • A number of prominent economists and former policy makers -- from Democrat Lawrence Summers to Republican Douglas Holtz-Eakin -- have raised questions about the size of the package. So too have some economy watchers in the financial markets
    • The pace of U.S. inflation implied by the bond market has accelerated to the fastest since 2014, as crude oil prices rallied along with rising expectations for an economic recovery
  • China’s foreign-currency holdings declined in January after reaching a four-year high the previous month, data from the central bank showed

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