Potential Global Inflation or Commodity Inflation?
+ Canada’s annual inflation rate increased to 2.4% in December due to higher gasoline prices.
+ US Q4 GDP increased 3.2%, led by consumer spending and trade.
+ German import prices rose at fastest annual pace in 29 years, driven by energy and metal prices.
+ Vietnam’s consumer prices are up 12% in the past year; India and Russia’s consumer prices are both up 8%.
+ China increased the minimum down payment for second-home purchases to 60% from 50%.
+ India’s central bank raised key interest rates for the 7th time in just over a year in an attempt to contain inflation.
+ The Fed has now kept interest rated unchanged, near zero for 536 days, longest streak of unchanged policy in the last 40 years.
+ Australia is levying a tax on middle and high income earners to pay for flood rebuilding.
+ Caterpillar Q4 profit rose 308%, strong sales in Asia and Latin America, demand from mining companies.
+ India plans to build $3 billion steel plant in Indonesia and buy coal from them.
+ CN and CP are looking at shipping oil by rail to the West Coast for export to China.
+ Orders for US capital equipment like computers and communications gear climbed 1.4% in December, second straight increase.
+ S&P cut Japan’s sovereign debt rating to AA- from AA, the same as China’s. First cut since 2002.