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January 1: The worst year since 1871 (recap ep208)

On today’s recap, Marcello goes over the aftermath of the Fed’s interest rate increases that have occurred throughout the year in order to control inflation. Despite all the efforts made by the government, 2022 is looking to be the worst year for the economy since 1871.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is committed to a historic tightening monetary path, with interest rate hikes at the most rapid pace since the early 1980’s. But as the domestic economy grinds to a halt & inflation likely cools, as government spending increases slip, a growing number of economists expect the Fed to be forced to cut interest rates in 2023.
There is increasing evidence that China’s economy will be unable to overtake the GDP of the U.S. The Chinese rate of growth is slowing, the real estate sector in China is in serious trouble & the Chinese labor force is shrinking, due to a rapidly aging population & declining birthrate. Increasing trade barriers, lower foreign investment & increasing impediments to technology transfers are also factors, along with a growing government interference in the affairs of business & the economy.
U. S. retail sales rose +7.6% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, the majority of the holiday season, as steep discounts brought in consumers. The increase is higher than the +7.1% growth Mastercard had forecast in September, when it anticipated consumers would pull purchases to October, in the quest for early deals. This year’s holiday retail sales growth however, is less than the +8.5% increase in 2021, as decades-high inflation, rising interest rates & the threat of a recession have made consumers more cautious.
On Friday, Venezuela’s opposition national assembly voted to remove interim President Juan Guaido, dissolve his government & appoint a commission to govern the country’s foreign assets, as lawmakers seek a united front ahead of elections slated for 2024.
The surge in U.S. egg prices has stood out in 2022, as Americans saw their grocery bills skyrocket. Average egg prices jumped +49.1% in November vs. a year earlier, in the largest annual percentage increase among all grocery items in that period, according to the CPI.
Former German born Pope Benedict, who in 2013 became the 1st pontiff in 600 years to resign, died on Saturday aged 95, in a secluded monastery in the Vatican, where he has resided since stepping down as head of the Papacy.

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