A WEF logo sits on the stage as panelists talk ahead of a panel session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. (Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg) 

Zero U.S. Growth, Davos Defends Order, China's Pledge: Eco Day

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

  • White House economic chief Kevin Hassett said if the government shutdown extends through March, there’s a chance of zero economic growth this quarter, though a “humongous” expansion would follow. Meanwhile, just when the Fed most needs fresh economic data, the shutdown is getting in the way
  • The agenda in Davos may be expansive but one clear priority remains at the top of the list: defending the global order
  • China’s vice president said his economy has delivered “significant” growth and pledged it won’t falter. Meantime, a top Chinese regulator said foreign entities should take a fair view of the nation’s ambitious plan to transform its economy into a high-tech powerhouse
  • South Korea is expected to keep interest rates unchanged today, with focus turning to any revision to its economic growth and inflation estimates. Over in Japan, the central bank’s revision of its price forecast sees its poor track record of projecting inflation continue
  • Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has brushed aside fears the economy is headed for a recession, insisting that growth could climb as high as 1.5 percent. Up in Germany, sinking river levels probably shaved at least 0.7 percentage point off economic growth last year, adding to shocks that almost tipped the nation into a recession
  • Brazil’s economy minister has laid out bold targets for selling off state assets and balancing the budget, while Argentina may increase the amount of dollars it can buy if the peso’s recent surge continues
  • As the land-seizure debate divides South Africa and threatens to spook investors, for many black citizens the issue isn’t about farming -- it’s about justice

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