Central Banks Stand By, Debt Balloon, Trade Contraction: Eco Day

Michael Heath

(Bloomberg) -- Welcome to Thursday, Asia. Here’s the latest news and analysis from Bloomberg Economics to help you start the day

Global central bankers are biding their time as the coronavirus fallout reverberates through the world economy, which they had hoped was stabilizing after its worst year since the financial turmoil of 2009. Here’s a map of the global economic impactPresident Donald Trump used the State of the Union to boast about a booming economy, but the federal deficit under his watch is ballooning -- forcing his Treasury Department to keep debt-sales above the financial crisis-era peak and bring back 20-year bondsChina’s foreign trade likely contracted in January from a strong rebound in December, reflecting the usual volatility around the nationwide shutdown for the Lunar New Year holiday. Meantime, the U.S. trade deficit narrowed for the first time in six yearsScenes of chaos and despair are emerging from China’s Hubei province. The area, known for its car factories and bustling capital Wuhan, is paying the price to keep the rest of the nation and world relatively insulated from the epidemic that erupted within its bordersSoutheast Asian central banks signaled strong policy action to counter a hit to their economies from the new coronavirusHeadline inflation above 7% will leave the Reserve Bank of India with little option but to hold interest rates ThursdayEU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan will be in Washington on Thursday for the second time in less than a month as the bloc seeks to revive a transatlantic commercial truceBrazil cut its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point and signaled it will hold borrowing costs going forward to consider the impact of its record-breaking monetary easing cycle on inflationCanada needs to look beyond monetary policy to reverse the long-term trend of slowing growth and low rates in the face of weak demographics and productivity, Bank of Canada’s No. 2 official saidThe U.K. economy’s bounce since the general election is proving bigger than initially estimated, justifying the Bank of England’s decision to hold fire last month on monetary easingCentral banks rather than giant tech companies are the preferred issuers of digital currency, a survey published by Omfif showedPope Francis staged a surprise visit to admonish the IMF chief and several finance ministers to help alleviate the debt burden of struggling countries, calling for “a new financial architecture” to ensure social justiceBank of America Corp. may have put too much faith into central banks

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Heath in Sydney at mheath1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Paul Jackson at pjackson53@bloomberg.net, Michael Heath

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