Global Trade Pain, U.S.-China Memorandums, Fed Minutes: Eco Day

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

  • From Japan to Germany, from economic numbers to profit warnings, there’s no shortage of evidence that the world is feeling the pain of a slump in trade
  • U.S. and Chinese negotiators are working on multiple memorandums of understanding that would form the basis of a final trade deal, according to a person briefed on the talks
  • Federal Reserve policy makers see 2019 marking the end of their balance sheet run-off, but not necessarily their interest-rate increases
    • Carl Riccadonna says while the release was slightly less dovish, it reaffirms patience is the watchword, while Vice Chair Richard Clarida said the Fed could soon decide when to stop shrinking its balance sheet
  • The European and global economic environment has become more threatening for France in recent months, with the recession in Italy a particularly serious concern, the French finance minister said
    • Italy’s economy hasn’t been faring well lately, and the country isn’t happy about it if the mood on social media is any guide
  • The U.K. has been put on a formal downgrade warning by Fitch Ratings, which pointed to increased risks that the country could tumble out of the European Union without an agreement in place
    • In a quirk of timing, a report Thursday showed Britain posted a record budget surplus last month, providing a welcome boost for Chancellor Philip Hammond amid the Brexit chaos
  • Australian employment surged in January, led by full-time roles, suggesting the Reserve Bank has more time to assess whether the economy needs an interest-rate cut
  • Finally, here’s our weekly research roundup

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