MH Daily Bulletin: December 16

December 16, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

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  • The U.S. reported 109,936 new COVID-19 infections and 711 virus fatalities Thursday. Seven-day averages for new cases and hospitalizations are at multi-month highs.
  • U.S. retailers are facing a shortage of cough and cold medicines amid an uptick in respiratory infections, including COVID-19.
  • U.S. retail sales fell by a larger-than-expected 0.6% in November, the biggest decline in 11 months.
U.S. Retail Sales
United States Initial Jobless Claims
  • U.S. factory production fell a surprise 0.6% in November, the first decline since June on a sharp decrease in auto output. Overall, U.S. industrial production fell by 0.2% for the month:
United States Industrial Production MoM

International Markets

  • Global new COVID-19 infections were up 2% in the past week, according to the World Health Organization. 
  • China’s public health officials warned that up to 800 million people could be infected with COVID-19 over the next few months, spurring a run on pharmacies and retailers and leaving big cities short of food and medicine. U.S. consulates in China suspended most services due to surging infections. 
  • COVID-19 is showing signs of resurgence in Japan and South Korea.
  • Tens of thousands of British nurses staged their largest walkout in history on Thursday, putting severe stress on the nation’s healthcare system.
  • China’s economy lost more steam in November, with factory output slowing and retail sales posting their steepest drop in six months. Senior officials are setting robust GDP growth targets for next year even as big banks project worsening conditions.
  • In addition to raising interest rates by 50 basis points Thursday, a fourth successive increase, the European Central Bank (ECB) laid out plans to shrink its bloated 5 trillion euro balance sheet starting in March. Norway joined the ECB, the U.K. and elsewhere in raising rates by a like amount Thursday.
  • The Bank of Mexico raised its key interest rate by 50 basis points to a record 10.5% Thursday. One more rate hike could be in the pipeline, officials indicated.
  • Europe’s central bank raised its eurozone inflation projection to 6.3% next year and said price growth would remain above targets through 2025.
  • Eurozone factory output declined 2% in October, according to the latest data.
  • The French government says the nation’s economy could contract a worse-than-predicted 0.2% in the current quarter.
  • With inflation in Hungary expected to peak at 27% early next year, officials there extended a price cap on basic foodstuffs through April.
  • A major Russian supermarket plans to continue its rapid rollout of discount stores amid a severe squeeze on living standards in the nation.
  • The U.S. and EU finalized another package of sanctions on Russia Thursday, while the EU also pledged to provide Ukraine with 18 billion euros of financing support next year.
  • The United Nations shrank its forecast for economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean next year to 1.3%. Brazilian and Argentinian economic data has slightly improved in recent weeks.
  • Canadian home prices fell for a ninth straight month in November while sales also declined.
  • Annual inflation in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, climbed for the 10th straight month to 21.47% in November.
  • Sri Lanka’s economy shriveled by 11.8% last quarter amid its worst financial crisis in decades.
  • The U.S. pledged to provide Africa with $2.5 billion in emergency aid for the continent’s medium- to long-term food security.
  • Spanish airport workers called off a planned strike on Christmas and New Year’s after reaching a bonus agreement with employers.

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