Powell's Fed Speak, 2019 Trade Downturn, China's Policy: Eco Day

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

  • Jerome Powell, the Fed chief who vowed to speak in “plain English,’’ is finding out just how vexing central-bank talk can be. Meanwhile, the recent stock market slump was probably necessary for policy makers to restrain growth, Bill Dudley said
  • Several of the Fed’s 12 regional banks, including normally hawkish Kansas, sought no increase in the discount rate
  • One of the key engines of the world economy -- global trade -- looks increasingly precarious as leading indicators point to a meaningful slowdown, says the World Trade Organization’s chief economist
  • Is China pushing on a piece of string, with policy stimulus unable to gain traction on a highly indebted economy? Tom Orlik says “no”
  • A deteriorating global economic outlook wasn’t enough for the Federal Reserve or Chinese government to come to the rescue
  • As the Bank of Japan ended 2018 in wait-and-see mode, the year ahead looms as a test of whether the doves that ushered in Abenomics are still driving policy. Japan’s financial imbalance gauges aren’t flashing red yet. But they are moving in that direction, says Yuki Masujima
  • India’s price support system for a range of crops is failing its most crucial test: shielding farmers from distress sales
  • With memories of Malaysia’s unexpected political shake-up fresh, investors have three big elections in Asia to stay on edge about in the first half of 2019. Indonesia left its benchmark rate unchanged after six hikes since May and amid a more cautious Fed
  • Mark Carney is headed into his last full year at the helm of the BOE and it could be his most turbulent yet. If Brexit is smooth and orderly, the central bank is likely to waste no time lifting rates, says Dan Hanson
  • It didn’t take long for the doubters to emerge after Sweden’s central bank mapped out its path toward positive rates by the end of next year
  • Mexico’s central bank raised rates to the highest since 2008 as a peso rout and high energy prices kept inflation above the official target

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