EU cuts euro zone growth forecasts, revises up inflation outlook

EU cuts euro zone growth forecasts, revises up inflation outlook

The European Commission cut its forecasts for economic growth in the euro zone for this year and next and revised up its estimates for inflation on Thursday largely due to the impact of the war in Ukraine. In its quarterly forecasts, Brussels confirmed its more downbeat outlook, which it had already discussed with euro zone finance ministers on Monday The EU executive now predicts growth of 2.6% this year for the 19-country currency bloc, slightly less than the 2.7% it had forecast in May. But next year, when the impact…

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The hike is (almost) here! Now for what comes next: Five questions for the European Central Bank

The hike is (almost) here! Now for what comes next: Five questions for the European Central Bank

The European Central Bank is set to deliver its first interest-rate hike since 2011 this week, yet markets are already fast-forwarding to focus on the path for higher rates beyond Thursday as economic prospects darken. That outlook is getting murkier by the day because inflation is still accelerating and growth slowing sharply. “The trade off the ECB is facing is more severe than any of the other major central banks,” said Silvia Ardagna, head of European economics research at Barclays. Here are five key questions for markets. 1. So, we’ll…

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Swiss central bank plans at least 50 bps rate hike in September, newspaper reports

Swiss central bank plans at least 50 bps rate hike in September, newspaper reports

The Swiss National Bank is currently planning to raise interest rates by 50 or 75 basis points in its next scheduled monetary policy announcement in September, a Swiss newspaper reported on Saturday, citing one or more people involved in the matter. The central bank last month raised its policy rate for the first time in 15 years and Chairman Thomas Jordan said soon afterwards that ongoing inflationary pressure meant further tightening would likely be needed. Data published last week showed Swiss inflation hit a 29-year high of 3.4% in June,…

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European parliament backs ‘historic’ reboot to EU’s digital rulebook

European parliament backs ‘historic’ reboot to EU’s digital rulebook

The European Parliament has given a final stamp of approval to two major pieces of regulation which will update the EU’s rules for digital businesses. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) will introduce new ‘ex ante’ competition rules for gatekeeping tech giants to ensure markets are fair and open; while the Digital Services Act (DSA), which applies more broadly — to services and platforms both large and small — will set governance rules around the handling of illegal content and products, as well as dialling up broader accountability on larger platforms…

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Traveling in Europe during the summer? Consider this

Traveling in Europe during the summer? Consider this

As travelers set off on vacations to avenge being grounded for so long due to the pandemic, they are getting a reality check. Logjams at airports are ensuring a rather rocky start to their long-awaited trips European airports are once again inundated with travelers. This is even before summer holidays have begun in many countries.With most of the pandemic-related restrictions lifted, people are setting off for their dream destinations, eager to make up for lost travel opportunities over the past two years — a phenomenon that is being described as…

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U.S. to boost troops presence in Europe if Russia attacks Ukraine

U.S. to boost troops presence in Europe if Russia attacks Ukraine

The United States will impose “severe economic harm” on Russia and boost its military presence in Eastern Europe should Moscow invade Ukraine, the White House warned on Monday, laying out the high stakes on the eve of talks between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin. The U.S. President will also quickly inform his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky of the details of his discussion with Mr. Putin, taking place by videoconference on Tuesday, as tens of thousands of Russian troops were positioned near the Ukraine border, a senior U.S. official told…

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Pope condemns Europe’s mistreatment of migrants and efforts to ‘cancel Christmas’

Pope condemns Europe’s mistreatment of migrants and efforts to ‘cancel Christmas’

Speaking on the Greek island of Lesbos, Pope Francis called the neglect of migrants the “shipwreck of civilisation”. The Pope first visited Lesbos in 2016, when it was a major entry point for people trying to reach Europe. Since then, new flashpoints have emerged and the Pope expressed regret that little had changed. Last month 27 people died when their inflatable dinghy sank in the Channel between France and the UK. The number of people attempting the crossing has been growing, with more than 26,000 people arriving in the UK…

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IMF’s Kristalina Georgieva: Omicron variant likely to usher growth downgrades

IMF’s Kristalina Georgieva: Omicron variant likely to usher growth downgrades

Global economic growth projections from the International Monetary Fund will likely be downgraded due to the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday. “A new variant that may spread very rapidly can dent confidence, and in that sense, we are likely to see some downgrades of our October projections for global growth,” Georgieva said during the Reuters Next conference. The IMF said in October it expected the global economy to grow 5.9% this year and 4.9% next year, pointing then to…

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Biden & Putin to hold talks amid Ukraine invasion fears

Biden & Putin to hold talks amid Ukraine invasion fears

US President Joe Biden and Russia’s Vladimir Putin will speak via video call on Tuesday, the White House says, amid mounting tensions over Ukraine. It comes after Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US had evidence that Russia had made plans for a “large scale” attack on Ukraine. But he added it was unclear if Mr Putin had made a final decision to invade. Russia has denied any such intention, and accused Ukraine of executing its own troop build-up. In a statement released on Saturday evening, White House Press…

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US, EU, UK and Canada announce new sanctions on Belarus

US, EU, UK and Canada announce new sanctions on Belarus

The United States, United Kingdom, European Union and Canada have imposed sanctions on Belarus, accusing the government of President Alexander Lukashenko of human rights violations and “orchestrating” irregular migration at the EU’s border. The two North American countries, Britain and the European bloc announced the sanctions in a joint statement on Thursday, saying they were targeting “certain individuals and entities”. “We remain committed to supporting the democratic aspirations of the people of Belarus and stand together to impose costs on the regime – and those who support it – for…

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