Finland's Free Money, Europe Stumbles, Fed Followers: Eco Day

(Bloomberg) -- Welcome to the end of the week, Europe. Here’s the latest news and analysis from Bloomberg Economics to help get your day started:

  • The world’s happiest country is about to answer a question that’s intrigued political philosophers and economists for centuries: What happens when citizens are given money with no strings attached?
  • Central banks in eastern Europe kept borrowing costs unchanged as expected as the euro area slowdown outweighed inflation outlooks
  • The European Commission slashed its growth forecasts for all the euro region’s major economies, warning that Brexit and the slowdown in China threaten to make the outlook even worse
  • The Federal Reserve’s dovish turn is being followed worldwide as policy makers across the globe take a breather from raising interest rates amid slowing inflation and economic growth
  • Economists see only one more rate hike from the Federal Reserve this year, cutting their estimates from as many as three expected in November, a survey conducted by Bloomberg showed. Meantime, negative interest rates could be harmful for U.S. banks, said Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan
  • President Donald Trump said he won’t meet Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline to avert new U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, intensifying fears the two won’t strike a deal before the end of the truce. Meantime, it’s a safe bet you won’t hear him talk much about services as the U.S. and Japan prepare for talks
  • Australia’s central bank cut growth and inflation forecasts in response to weaker consumption as it assesses how slumping property prices could reverberate across the economy
  • The Reserve Bank of India’s unexpected rate cut is set to be the first in a wave of monetary policy easing across Asia in 2019, with the Philippines probably next

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