Economists and consumers join the eurozone’s optimism

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  • British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has ordered his ethics advisor to investigate the tax affairs of Nazim Al Zahawi, the head of the Conservative Party. The government is also in crisis over allegations that BBC chief Richard Sharpe helped former Prime Minister Boris Johnson secure a private loan.

  • Brazil and Argentina, South America’s two largest economies, will announce the start of work on a single currency this week and have invited other Latin American countries to join. Sur (South), as Brazil wants to be known, can boost regional trade and reduce dependence on the US dollar, and will initially run parallel to the Brazilian real and Argentine peso.

  • Music streaming company Spotify has become the latest tech company to announce job cuts (as well as a management change) to reverse the tide of pandemic-era hiring.

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Good evening.

After a week of positive buzz from Davos about the global recovery, a closely watched survey of economists suggested the eurozone would avoid a recession this year, adding to signs in financial markets that Europe is recovering.

The Consensus Economics report says the bloc will grow by 0.1 percent in 2023, thanks to lower energy prices, government support and a global economic boost from China’s earlier-than-expected reopening. Relief from supply chain disruptions and a strong labor market has also helped, while concerns about gas rationing have been greatly reduced. JPMorgan went further, raising its 2023 eurozone GDP forecast to 0.5 percent.

Optimism is slowly spreading among consumers. Fresh confidence data from the European Union today showed sentiment in January rising by 1.1 percentage points in the eurozone and 1.4 percentage points in the broader EU, marking the highest level in nearly a year, although well below long-term averages.

The euro has been strengthening against the dollar as expectations improve, rising about 13 percent over the past three and a half months, supported by a weaker dollar.

Fund managers are turning from China to Europe in their search for growth. “Europe remains an attractive market . . . it is the largest institutional and wholesale market outside the United States. It also has a strong focus on responsible investing, supported by the regulatory regime,” said one of the fund’s presidents.

Investors are also eyeing EU plans for “unprecedented” investments in clean energy technologies as Brussels tries to allay fears that Joe Biden’s massive environmental subsidies could lure European companies across the Atlantic.

At the same time, policymakers – as expressed by the Financial Times’ Sabine Moderer of the German central bank – are confident that the eurozone can beat inflation while keeping markets stable.

Some economists in the consensus poll still expect a recession, though not as deep as previously thought, while new data today showed that the cost of subsidizing consumers and businesses on energy bills was a sharp widening of the eurozone’s budget deficit.

Need to know: UK and European economy

UK needs a file Green strategy To prevent investment hemorrhage in the United States as a result of President Joe Biden’s subsidy package, according to the head of the CBI Employers Group.

CBI chief Tony Danker also criticized the government’s plans for the execution European Union laws, which he said would create “great uncertainty for British businesses”. Danger condition local government finances In England, our new Big Read has been revealed: budget cuts that threaten to “raise the bar”.

In the UK’s best economic news, the Deloitte UK survey showed Consumer confidence She is applying for the first time in 15 months.

the National Grid It will start paying households and businesses in the UK to use less power during the peak hour of demand between 5pm-6pm this evening to reduce strain on the grid. Organizer Ofgem is to investigate suppliers who involuntarily divert vulnerable customers to prepaid counters.

On February 5, the European Union will be cut off from the main provider of diesel When new Russian energy sanctions come into force, which leads to more turmoil in global oil markets. Brussels is looking into the use of Russian assets confiscated to Ukraine reconstruction.

Need to know: The global economy

Corona virus cases China is experiencing a surge as the country celebrates the Lunar New Year, while the drug shortages that hit Beijing and Shanghai last month are now affecting rural areas.

1.38 trillion euros luxury goods market In poor health as the wealthy continue to spend, according to a new report from Bain & Company. The data also highlights that it is the United States, not China, that is fueling the boom, and that the main drivers are Generation Z and Generation Y, not older consumers.

climate Sustainability issues crept into a surprising number of discussions at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The Moral Money Newsletter (for Premium subscribers) takes a look back at an eventful week.

Can you predict next year better than Super Broadcasters? Try our interactive quiz.

Need to know: Business

banks They are preparing for the biggest round of job cuts since the global financial crisis, in the wake of a collapse in investment bank revenues. “The next job cuts are going to be absolutely brutal,” said one headhunter. “It’s a reset because they’ve overemployed over the last two or three years.”

Microsoft has confirmed a multi-billion dollar investment in OpenAI, a leading AI startup and developer behind the ChatGPT chatbot and image generator DALL-E.

Ken Griffin Castle Investors reported a $16 billion profit last year – the largest dollar gain for a hedge fund in history – driven by a sell-off in government bonds.

Stocks in Italy Juventus It fell after football authorities withdrew 15 points from the club following alleged wrongful accounting practices. The discount makes it unlikely that the team will qualify for the lucrative European competitions such as the UEFA Champions League.

Join LaLiga Chairman Javier Tebas, AC Milan owner Gerry Cardinale, super agent Rafaela Pimenta and more at the Business of Football Summit in London March 1-2 to discuss the new wave of investment flowing into the game. Newsletter subscribers can scoreboard Register here Get a free digital pass or a reduced price personal ticket. Premium subscribers can subscribe to receive our weekly sports newsletter here.

world of work

Hate your job For a long time it can only harm your mental and physical health. Here are some tips for what to do if you find yourself stuck.

Burnt It may be one of the reasons. Here’s how to deploy AI in new employee wellness tools.

Work & Careers Editor Isabel Berwick shares four great posts Podcasts About women and the world of work.

Epidemics and other disasters such as the Great Fire of London have always raged urban change. As cities struggle to rebound, some argue it’s time to reshape central business districts as central social districts, writes columnist Pilita Clark.

Some good news

For anyone who has ever lived in New York, think Dolphins return to the Bronx It may seem a little far-fetched. Think again!

work on it Discover the big ideas shaping today’s workplaces with a weekly newsletter from Work & Careers Editor Isabel Berwick. Register here

Climate chart: an explanation – Learn about the most important weather data for the week. Register here

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