Infographic: inflation is soaring, global recovery cooling

Infographic: inflation is soaring, global recovery cooling

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Inflation in the United States is at an almost four-decade high, price expectations are rising in Japan and energy costs are squeezing European households.

Germany's economy may have shrunk in the final three months of 2021, while the World Bank has shaved global growth estimates for this year because of the coronaviruses, persistent supply chain disruptions and less fiscal support. In Brazil, inflation was about 10% last year.

Consumer prices are likely to extend their eye-popping gains last year, which has gone up by the most in nearly four decades, adding pressure on Federal Reserve policy makers to act. The consumer price index went up last year due to high goods inflation. The price index of goods, which included food and energy, went up 10.7%, the largest 12 month advance since 1975.

Consumer sentiment declined more than forecast in early January due to concerns about soaring inflation and fast-spreading omicron variant. Americans expect prices to rise at an annual rate of 3.1% over the next five to 10 years, the most since 2011.

Mortgage rates in the U.S., tracking a jump in yields for 10 year Treasuries, rose for a third straight week, reaching the highest point in almost two years. There are signs that borrowing costs are going to increase, which will increase the burden on home buyers who are already stretched to afford a purchase.

European consumers are desperate for some relief after two years of coronaviruses, lockdowns and job worries due to soaring energy prices. According to a survey by the European Commission, households who are more worried about prices than at any time this century feel less inclined to splurge because of the financial pain.

Germany is heading for its second recession of the pandemic after the emergence of the coronaviruses omicron strain compounded drags on output from supply snarls and the fastest inflation in three decades.

For five years, Emmanuel Macron has fended off challenges from the fringes of French politics. As he hopes to re-elect in April, the president who has been nurtured in the top echelons of the French technocracy has a potential knockout punch to throw: the robust economy.

Inflation expectations for Japanese households went to the highest in 13 years, showing how costlier energy is influencing sentiment even as overall price gains are far below the Bank of Japan's target.

Brazil's consumer prices went up more than expected last year, dogging the central bank and its efforts to bring inflation back to target.

According to a global survey by management consultant Bain Co, the answer depends on where they are from.

After last year s expansion clocked the fastest post-recession pace in eight decades, the World Bank said that the global economic recovery will be cooling more than previously estimated in 2022 due to Covid 19 flare-ups, diminished policy support and lingering supply-chain bottlenecks.

Concerns about tighter supplies sent prices rallying recently, stoking fears that metals like aluminum and nickel were tracked by the market's biggest exchange. Production of metals has gone up recently because of smaller inventories and concerns about global supplies of materials critical to the green-energy transition.

Central bankers in Romania and South Korea increased interest rates by 25 basis points this week, following peers in South America and eastern Europe to use their first monetary policy meeting of the year to increase borrowing costs in order to temper rising inflation.

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