Lagarde’s Pledge, U.K. Retailers Hit, PBOC’s Warning: Eco Day

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Welcome to Tuesday, Europe. Here’s the latest news and analysis from Bloomberg Economics to help you start the day:

  • European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde pledged monetary support for the economy amid extended coronavirus lockdowns, and said governments must do the same
  • Mario Draghi told lawmakers he’ll make a common euro-area budget a policy priority for Italy if he becomes prime minister this month
  • England’s third lockdown hit non-essential retailers harder than the one in November, with the new virus variant hampering spending and confidence last month
  • Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey expressed anger at how he was portrayed in a judge’s report into a financial scandal that occurred while he was running Britain’s market regulator
  • Heightened uncertainty about inflation and unemployment data is set to give Swedish policy makers cover to postpone key decisions at their first meeting of the year this week
  • The U.K. economy will remain below pre-Covid levels until the end of 2023, an influential think tank said. Meanwhile, U.K. businesses face a 50 billion-pound ($68 billion) “bombshell” if pandemic aid programs aren’t extended, the Labour opposition warned
  • The U.K. wants to prioritize depth rather than speed in completing work on a free-trade agreement with the U.S., the country’s ambassador in Washington said
  • The People’s Bank of China warned against relying on consumer finance to boost household spending, while signaling there would be no rapid changes in its overall monetary policy stance
  • The Biden administration made a number of key appointments at the office of the U.S. Trade Representative
  • President Joe Biden’s quest to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour may have hit a political and procedural roadblock in a new report from the Congressional Budget Office
  • Yawning gaps between rich and poor countries, pressure from climate change, and ease of travel point to more migration in coming years, Felipe Hernandez and Tom Orlik write
  • The number of newborn babies in China fell by double digits last year, a sign the birthrate is continuing to decline and worsening demographic pressures in the rapidly aging nation

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