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Economic Weekly

The US Economy (p. 4)

  • The US economy’s growth rate in the third quarter of 2023 was revised upwards, yet it appears that the growth rate slowed in the fourth quarter.  The relative cooling in the labor market is expected to continue in the coming months. 
  • Housing prices continued to climb in September, and the relatively sharp drop in mortgage interest rates in November-December is expected to support further gains in housing prices in the coming months. 
  • The US government budget deficit widened in October-November 2023.
  • In its December interest rate decision, the Fed left the federal funds rate unchanged at a range of 5.25%-5.50%.  In our estimation, against the backdrop of the moderation in inflation, with an emphasis on the PCE index, the Fed is likely to start lowering its federal funds rate as early as March 2024. 
  • The annual rate of the PCE core price index, as well as of the overall PCE index, fell in November.

The Global Economy (p. 9)

  • Industrial production in the euro bloc continued to decline in October; the annual rate of industrial production is deep within negative territory for the eighth consecutive month. 
  • The ECB kept its interest rate unchanged at its December meeting.  The downward trend in inflation (annualized rate) in the euro bloc continued in November as well. 
  • The central bank of England (BOE) kept its interest rate unchanged, at 5.25%, in December.

The Italian economy (p. 11)

  • The Italian economy endured the energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, Italian GDP has not returned to the growth trend that characterized the country before the coronavirus period.
  • Over recent quarters, economic activity in Italy has slowed. Looking ahead, economic growth is expected to slow in the coming years, and the risks to the growth forecast are biased downward.
  • The fiscal profile is very weak, but there is a slight improvement in political stability. 


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