The world this week--Business
America’s annual inflation rate fell to 5% in March, the lowest it has been since May 2021.
But the core inflation rate, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, rose to 5.6%.
There was good news on energy prices.
On a month-by-month basis the price of natural gas for consumers fell again, by 7.1%. Petrol dropped by over 4%.
But with other data showing another solid monthly increase in the number of jobs created, markets are expecting the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point again when it meets in early May.
The IMF slightly reduced its estimate of growth in the world economy this year, to 2.8%.
It expects America’s GDP to increase by 1.6% and the euro area’s by 0.8%, though Britain’s could shrink by 0.3%.
The fund said that “the fog around the world economic outlook had thickened”, in part because of the recent stress in financial markets caused by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse.
Ueda Kazuo started his term as the Bank of Japan’s governor.
At his first news conference Mr Ueda reiterated his commitment to sticking, for now, with the central bank’s ultra-loose policy of negative interest rates and controls on government-bond yields.
In December the bank raised its cap on ten-year government-bond yields, from 0.25% to 0.5%, amid market pressure.
Press reports suggested that SoftBank is preparing to sell most of its remaining stake in Alibaba, leaving it with a holding of around 4%.
The Japanese conglomerate once owned 34% of Alibaba.
SoftBank was also reportedly ready to finalise a decision on listing Arm, a chip designer, with an IPO on the Nasdaq exchange.
Warner Bros Discovery announced a new combined streaming service, called Max.
It merges high-quality programming from HBO, such as “Succession” and “The Last of Us”, with unscripted filler from Discovery (“90 Day Fiance”, “Pit Bulls and Parolees”).
WBD hopes that the combination of quality and reality TV will help it catch up with Netflix and Disney+.