Trade Optimism, Bullard Concerns, U.K. Productivity Woe: Eco Day

(Bloomberg) -- Good morning Americas. Here’s the latest news and analysis from Bloomberg Economics to help get your Wednesday started:

  • China and the U.S. wrapped up three days of trade talks, with people familiar with the discussions saying their positions were closer on areas including energy and agriculture but further apart on harder issues. A one-day extension to the talks shows both sides are serious about the negotiations, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.
  • James Bullard, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, told the Wall Street Journal that said he’s concerned that any more interest-rate increases could push the U.S. economy into a recession.
    • Investors will get more insight into the Fed’s unanimous decision to hike rates in December later today, when minutes of that meeting are released.
  • A tweak to the Bank of England’s usual calendar means that Governor Mark Carney will take some of the pressure off his successor at the start of next year by keeping the spotlight on himself.
  • Populism is likely to make the euro’s third decade of existence every bit as challenging as the last two -- if not more, according to JPMorgan.
    • Staying in the U.K., a report Wednesday showed productivity rose at the slowest pace in two years between July and September, disappointing news for policy makers seeking to tackle a decade of stagnation.
  • Sweden’s Riksbank is promising a cautious route out of negative interest rates, minutes of its December meeting showed.
  • The World Bank cut its forecast for the global economy as slowing growth in trade and investment and rising interest rates sapped momentum, especially in emerging markets.
  • Australian building approvals fell the most in a decade in a further sign that investors are pulling back from the housing market amid a prolonged price slump and tighter lending curbs.
  • With French consumer confidence at the lowest in four years, read how President Emmanuel Macron is trying to drag the nation into the era of affirmative action.

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