US consumer confidence is improving; UK business growth slows down: economic envelope


The US Consumer Confidence Index showed improvement in December, rising to 115.8 from 111.9 the previous month, according to Conference Board data.

Meanwhile, the current situation index – which measures consumers’ assessment of current business and working conditions – edged down 0.3 points to 144.1 in December.

“The current situation index has declined slightly but remains very high, suggesting that the economy has maintained its momentum in the last month of 2021,” said Lynn Franco, the organization’s senior director of economic indicators, in a statement.

“Expectations for short-term growth prospects have improved, paving the way for continued growth in early 2022,” she added.

Sluggish UK business growth

In the fourth quarter, British businesses experienced their weakest growth since this year’s lockdown, the Confederation of British Industry said.

The organization’s monthly growth indicator fell 11 points to 21 points in the three-month period ending in December. The gauge is based on a survey compiled of retailers, manufacturers and other service companies, Reuters reported.

Labor and material shortages, higher costs and new rules related to the pandemic are some of the challenges businesses face as they greet Christmas.

Companies are also anticipating another weak performance in early 2022 due to omicron concerns.

Spanish growth slows

Spain’s GDP grew by an annual rate of 3.4% in the third quarter, down significantly from the 17.7% figure in the previous quarter, according to official data.

Growth in household final consumption expenditure slowed significantly to 2.7 percent from a much higher rate of 23.6 percent in the second quarter, the country’s National Statistics Institute said.

In addition, gross fixed capital formation fell 0.6% after expanding 18.5% in the previous quarter, the data showed.

Minimum corporate tax

The European Union on Wednesday presented its plans to implement the 15% minimum corporate tax rate – which is expected to take place from 2023 – and believes the United States will follow suit despite some problems in Congress.

The plan was approved by 136 countries in October but has yet to be approved by each country’s legislature, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, has said it will introduce a directive that will be accepted by all 27 countries instead of separate laws for each country.

China’s growth forecast

An easing of Chinese economic policies is expected to boost the country’s growth in 2022, following some previously adopted restrictive policies, Bloomberg reported, citing Morgan Stanley.

The private sector is expected to receive a boost after the government recognizes that growth is still needed in the country, despite its goal of a more equal society.

The firm expects the country to grow 5.5%, above the market consensus of 5.2%, according to Bloomberg.

In other news related to China, the government has decided to implement more policies that will help exporters and importers due to uncertainties over foreign trade, Reuters reported, citing China’s state-run Xinhua news agency. .

These will include reductions in taxes and fees as well as accelerated refunds of export taxes.


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