Flexible Fed, Trump Trade Hint, GM's Lessons for Powell: Eco Day

(Bloomberg) -- Happy Friday, Asia. Here’s the latest news and analysis from Bloomberg Economics to help get your day started:

  • Federal Reserve officials signaled they’re adopting a more flexible approach in their gradual interest-rate increases. Yelena Shulyatyeva argues the minutes of its November meeting were cautious rather than dovish, reflecting the approach of a neutral policy stance
  • President Donald Trump said he is very close to “doing something” with China ahead of his meeting with President Xi Jinping, raising expectations again that the two leaders may be able to hash out a ceasefire in their trade war. If they fail, the fallout will reverberate through the heart of Asia’s integrated technology supply chain
  • General Motors chief Mary Barra’s decision to shed 14,000 workers points to two lessons for Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, argues Tom Orlik
  • Questions about Europe’s economic strength mounted further after the Swiss and Swedish economies unexpectedly contracted and confidence in the euro area weakened
  • The Bank of Japan will probably tweak its monthly bond-buying plan for the fourth time in a row, according to rates strategists
  • Korea’s central bank looks set to end a year-long hiatus by increasing borrowing costs, adding to a flurry of rate hikes in Asian emerging markets this month
  • India’s economy is bracing for a slowdown as back-to-back rate hikes, a funding squeeze and weaker export demand start to bite
  • Americans’ spending rose by more than forecast in October, while a measure of underlying inflation cooled. Meantime, the rising number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits is starting to worry some economists
  • The latest data show U.S. life expectancy has fallen again, driven in part by rising opioid deaths

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