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SPI Management Newsletter 06.01.2023

Fed officials see higher rates for ‘some time’ ahead

According to minutes from the Federal Reserve's December meeting, officials are dedicated to combating inflation and anticipate that higher interest rates will stay in place until more progress is made.

The need of maintaining a restrictive policy was stressed by policymakers at a meeting where they decided to increase their benchmark interest rate by another half percentage point.

The rate boost broke a run of four straight three-quarter point rate increases and raised the benchmark fed funds rate's target range to 4.25%–4.5%, the highest level in 15 years.

Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Fed, stated after the meeting that while there had been some progress in the fight against inflation, he only saw halting indicators and anticipated that rates would continue to rise even after the rises stopped.

The funds rate is expected to settle around the 4.5%–4.75% range by the end of the year, according to current pricing, which also suggests the likelihood of a slight rate drop. However, Fed officials have frequently expressed uncertainty about any policy easing in 2022.

According to the minutes, officials are battling two policy risks: first, that the Fed fails to maintain rates at a high level for long enough and allows inflation to spiral out of control, as it did in the 1970s; and second, that the Fed maintains restrictive policy for an excessively long time and significantly slows the economy, "potentially placing the largest burdens on the most vulnerable groups of the population."

Members underlined that they believe the risks are more heavily weighed toward premature easing and allowing inflation to run out of control.

Inflation in the eurozone returns to single digits in a greater decline than anticipated

As economic morale improved throughout the single currency bloc, the eurozone's inflation rate decreased more than anticipated in December thanks to lower energy prices, ending a two-month spell of double-digit rates.

Consumer prices increased at an annual pace of 9.2% in December, down from 10.1% in November and a record 10.6% in October, according to the Eurostat flash index released on Friday. Inflation rates per year varied from 20.7% in Latvia to 5.6% in Spain. In a Bloomberg poll of experts, the average rate was expected to fall to 9.5%, but the actual decrease across the bloc was more.

Core inflation nevertheless increased to a new high of 5.2%, beating economists' forecasts that the measure would stay at the 5% rate recorded in November. Core inflation excludes more volatile food and energy prices, which fell precipitously in December. Only in December did core prices increase by 0.6%.

Dubai unveils $8.7tn plan to double its economy by 2033

By 2033, Dubai hopes to "double the size" of its economy through increased foreign commerce and investment in the country's financial center.

According to Mohammed bin Rashid, 2033 will mark 200 years since Dubai's founding and the year when Dubai becomes the most significant worldwide business hub. With a growth in FDI to over AED 650 billion over the next ten years and AED 100 billion in yearly contributions from digital transformation, Dubai will rank as one of the top four global financial centers.

100 game-changing projects are included in the new Dubai Economic Agenda. Over the following ten years, "D33" wants to quadruple the emirate's foreign trade to AED25.6 trillion and add 400 new cities as significant commercial partners.

Adapted from WSJ, CNBC, FT, Bloomberg, AlJazeera

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