Sweden-Size Economy Shut, Powell Test, Measuring Impact: Eco Day

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

  • China’s Hubei province is now in the third week of a shutdown triggered by the virus that has killed hundreds of people -- and halted an industrial powerhouse the size of Sweden
  • Fed chief Jerome Powell has confessed that it’s “very hard” to understand China’s economy. The outbreak of the coronavirus has made that exponentially more difficult
  • It’s a mad scramble for the best data: Economists are grappling with ways to gauge the real-time impact of the coronavirus on the world economy, even as the outbreak continues to confound forecasters
  • Hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens who live abroad but returned home for the Lunar New Year are now stuck in the country
  • Stable employment -- a top priority for China -- is under threat from the virus outbreak. The damage will determine the intensity of stimulus, writes Chang Shu. Chinese travel over the Spring Festival period declined 40% from a year earlier, the transport ministry said
  • Singapore authorities urged residents to relax on their shopping sprees that have emptied supermarket shelves
  • New Zealand’s “shadow board” recommended the central bank stand pat on interest rates at this week’s meeting
  • President Donald Trump’s proposed budget includes $4.8 trillion in spending for fiscal 2021, but slow-walks plans to trim the deficit. Meantime, Larry Summers is worried tax cuts may lead the economy into financial difficulties
  • Italy’s central bank governor sees “significant” risks to the country’s fragile economy
  • Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron just got a timely reinforcement in his bid to rein in the shekel
  • Goldman sees Turkey’s central bank bringing interest rates to single digits within months, as demanded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, before they start to rise again
  • Russia’s winter was so balmy that snow was trucked into Moscow for New Year, and bears came out of hibernation. In Japan, ski competitions were canceled and a snow festival had to borrow snow. The warmest January on record is a problem for the energy industry

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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