Why another high inflation report may not cause Fed to hike
The government inflation report being released Tuesday is expected to show that price acceleration in the United States remained chronically high in February, putting the Federal Reserve in an unusually tough position. The Fed had been considered sure to raise its benchmark interest rate by at least a quarter-point when it meets next week. Many analysts even expected an aggressive half-point hike if Tuesday’s report for February pointed again to elevated inflation. But that was before last weekend’s two major bank failures and a series of emergency measures that the Fed unveiled to try to bolster confidence in the financial system. With bank share prices cratering Monday and fears of further financial instability roiling markets, most economists now expect the Fed to pause its rate hikes next week to avoid causing any further instability at a delicate moment for the banking system. At the same time, inflation continues to run far above what the Fed wants. Economists have estimated that Tuesday’s report will show that consumer prices rose 0.4% from January to February, according to a survey of economists by the data provider FactSet. That would be slightly less than the increase from December to January but still too fast to be consistent with the Fed’s 2% annual inflation target.Economists have predicted that compared with a year ago, overall inflation rose 6% in February, down from a 6.4% year-over-year jump in January. They have also estimated that so-called core prices, which exclude volatile food and energy costs, rose 5.5% from a year earlier. That would be only slightly below January’s annual pace of 5.6%. Read more: North Korea launches 2 missiles to sea as allies hold drills Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, said Goldman now thinks the Fed’s policymakers will pause their rate increases next week. Goldman had previously predicted a quarter-point hike. In a note to clients, Hatzius noted that the Fed, for now, appears even more focused on calming the banking sector and the financial markets than on fighting inflation. “We would be surprised if, just one week after going to great lengths to support financial stability, policymakers risked undermining their efforts by raising interest rates again,” Hatzius wrote in a separate note Monday. If the Fed does pause its rate hikes this month, Hatzius predicted, it will likely resume them when it next meets in May. Ultimately, he still expects the Fed to raise its key rate, which affects many consumer and business loans, to about 5.4% this year, up from the current 4.6%. The Fed may get some unintentional help in its inflation fight from the aftereffects of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and New York-based Signature Bank. In response, many small and medium-size banks may pull back on lending to shore up their finances. A lower pace of lending could help cool the economy and slow inflation. The possibility of a Fed pause underscores the sharp shift in the nation’s financial system and economy in barely one week. Last Tuesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell had told the Senate Banking Committee that if hiring and inflation continued to run hot, the Fed would likely raise rates at this month’s meeting by a sizeable half-point. That would have marked a re-acceleration in the Fed’s efforts to tighten credit. The central bank had raised its benchmark rate by a quarter-point in February, a half-point in December and by three-quarters of point four times before that. The next day, testifying to a House committee, Powell cautioned that no final decision had been made about what the Fed would do at the March meeting. Still, on Friday, the government reported that employers added a robust 311,000 jobs last month. It was a potential sign of continued high inflation, and it led to predictions of a half-point hike at the Fed’s meeting next week. Later that day, though, Silicon Valley Bank failed, thrusting an entirely new set of concerns onto the Fed.
Bangladesh Poverty Watch Report 2022 launched; regular monitoring of progress emphasized
Regular monitoring of progress is important to assess the degree of convergence between the left behind and the relatively advanced population groups and the lagging and the well-off regions of Bangladesh, says the Bangladesh Poverty Watch Report 2022 on Saturday (January 21, 2023). The report, jointly prepared by Institute for Inclusive Finance and Development (InM) and Center for Inclusive Development Dialogue (CIDD), aimed to ensure that grassroots voices of ‘left behind’ and extremely poor population groups are heard and these are reflected in policies. Chairman, CIDD Dr. Mustafa K. Mujeri and Chairman InM Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, among others, spoke at the launching event for the Bangladesh Poverty Watch Report 2022. The Poverty Watch Report 2022 summarised some current aspects of poverty including testimonies, reflections and ‘stories’ of individuals from selected ‘left behind’ population groups belonging to seven plain land ethnic minority groups (Santal, Mal Paharia, Garo, Hajong, Mandi, Oraon and Munda) and the transgender community. Also read: Poverty forces Thakurgaon day-labourer to put 7-month-old baby girl up for sale In their ‘stories’, the participants shared their experience of having found themselves in poverty, exclusion and extremely difficult conditions reinforced by systemic errors and structural inequalities. The Report suggests several priority actions for speeding up their catching up process in society. The key will be to craft these policies/actions within the broader inclusive development strategies of the government that cover cross-cutting and national level issues, such as strengthening inclusive growth, ensuring financial inclusion, reducing income and social inequality, accessing quality education, health, nutrition and other basic services, adopting appropriate macroeconomic policy, addressing pockets of lagging social groups/regions, and adopting initiatives at the local level along with effectively managing micro-macro transmissions, according to the report. These left-behind communities have issues that are directly or indirectly related to the daily work of the local governments and local institutions, said the report. Also read: EU to provide €23 million to PKSF for extreme poverty reduction For implementing the agenda, one important element will be to utilise the potential of local action to drive development and create appropriate legal and financial frameworks to support all local partners in playing their part in the achievement of the integrated and universal inclusion agenda. The key is to empower all local stakeholders, especially the local government institutions, aimed at making sustainable and inclusive development more responsive, and therefore, relevant to local needs and aspirations. The goals will be reached only if local actors including these left-behind communities fully participate, not only in the implementation, but also in the agenda-setting and monitoring processes. Participation requires that all relevant actors are involved in the decision-making process, through consultative and participative mechanisms, at the local and national levels within the overall inclusion framework, according to the report. Read More: Colombia seeks Yunus' advice on poverty reduction, 'total peace'
Dhaka Wasa rubbishes report on MD’s 14 US houses as baseless
Dhaka Wasa has denounced as baseless and fabricated a recent Bangladesh news report that its managing director Taqsem A Khan owns 14 apartments in the United States. “Dhaka Wasa dismisses the report with contempt. The news has been published with motive and it has no connection with the reality,” said a Dhaka Wasa press release signed by its deputy-chief public relation officer Mostafa Tareque. The press release stated that MD Taqsem does not own any of the residences described in that news report. However, his wife, who has been working in the US as a government official, owns only one apartment. “A vested interest group published this false and baseless report to serve their own vested interests,” said the release. Also Read: BFIU summons WASA chief Taqsem’s bank account details Dhaka Wasa condemns the publication of such false news, it observed. The press release described Taqsem as a visionary managing director of the city’s water and sewage authority. It said it was because of his vision Dhaka Wasa has been able to increase its water supply to up to 275 crore litres as against the daily demand of about 270 crore litres.
Bangladesh reports 39 more dengue cases
Thirty-nine more people were hospitalised with dengue in the 24 hours to Friday morning. However, the official death toll from the mosquito-borne disease remained unchanged at 274 – the highest on record after the 179 deaths recorded in 2019 – as no fatalities were reported during this period, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). A total of 516 dengue patients, including 287 in the capital, are now receiving treatment at hospitals across the country. Read: Dengue fatalities now 274 with another death The DGHS has recorded 61,883 dengue cases and 61,093 recoveries so far this year.
Bangladesh reports zero Covid death, eight new cases
Bangladesh reported eight more Covid cases in the 24 hours to Friday morning. With the new numbers, the country's total caseload rose to 2,037,011, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). However, the official death toll from the disease remained unchanged at 29,438 as no new fatalities were reported. The daily case test positivity dropped to 0.37 percent from Thursday's 0.62 percent as 2,178 samples were tested during the period. Read: Bangladesh logs 16 more Covid cases The mortality rate and the recovery rate remained unchanged at 1.45 percent and 97.55 percent, respectively. In November, the country reported 10 Covid-linked deaths and 1,345 cases. Bangladesh registered its highest daily caseload of 16,230 on July 28 last year and daily fatalities of 264 on August 10 the same year.
Over 50% of life-threatening bacterial infections becoming resistant to treatment: WHO
Over 50 percent of life-threatening bacterial infections are becoming resistant to treatment, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said in its new report. Also, high levels of resistance to treatment are reported in bacteria frequently causing bloodstream infections in hospitals, according to the Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System report, published Friday, based on 2020 data from 87 countries. Antimicrobial resistance undermines modern medicine and puts millions of lives at risk, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. Within the context of national testing coverage, the report, for the first time, analyses antimicrobial resistance (AMR) rates, tracking trends in 27 countries since 2017. It reveals high levels of bacteria resistance, frequently causing life-threatening bloodstream infections in hospitals, such as Klebsiella pneumoniae and Acinetobacter spp, which require treatment with last-resort antibiotics, such as carbapenems. However, eight percent of those infections caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae were resistant to carbapenems, increasing the risk of death. Bacterial infections are becoming increasingly resistant to treatments, with over 60 percent of Neisseria gonorrhoea infections, a common sexually transmitted disease, showing resistance to ciprofloxacin, one of the most widely used oral antibacterials. Read: WHO: Digital app released to boost physical activity, help get children moving And over 20 percent of E.coli isolates, the most common pathogen in urinary tract infections, were resistant to ampicillin and co-trimoxazole, first-line drugs, as well as second-line treatments known as fluoroquinolones. Although most antimicrobial resistance trends have remained stable over the past four years, bloodstream infections due to resistant E.coli, Salmonella, and gonorrhoea infections have jumped by at least 15 percent compared to 2017 rates. More research is needed to discover why AMR has increased and the extent to which infections are related to hospitalisations and antibiotic treatments during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the UN health agency. The pandemic also meant that several countries were unable to report data for 2020, it added."To truly understand the extent of the global threat and mount an effective public health response to AMR, we must scale up microbiology testing and provide quality-assured data across all countries, not just wealthier ones," Tedros said. New analyses show that countries with lower testing coverage – mostly low and middle-income countries (LMICs) – are more likely to report significantly higher AMR rates for "bug-drug" combinations. This may be partly because only a limited number of referral hospitals in many LMICs provide data for the WHO report. Read: Health must be at the centre in COP27 climate change negotiations: WHO These hospitals often care for the sickest patients who may have received previous antibiotic treatment. Meanwhile, in terms of antibiotic consumption, 65 percent of 27 reporting countries met the WHO's target of ensuring that at least 60 percent of antimicrobials are first or second-line treatments. "These 'ACCESS' antibiotics are effective in a wide range of infections with a relatively low risk of creating resistance. However, insufficient testing coverage and weak laboratory capacity, particularly in LMICs, make AMR rates difficult to interpret," the UN agency said.
Covid: Bangladesh sees 30 more cases, zero death
Bangladesh reported 30 more Covid cases in the 24 hours to Friday morning. With the new numbers, the country's total caseload rose to 2,036,760, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). However, the official death toll from the disease remained unchanged at 29,436, as no new fatalities were reported. The daily case test positivity rose to 1.14 percent from Thursday's 0.99 percent as 2,633 samples were tested during the period. The mortality rate remained unchanged at 1.45 percent, while the recovery rate rose to 97.53 percent. Read: Covid-19: Bangladesh sees one more death, 32 more cases In November, the country reported 10 Covid-linked deaths and 1,345 cases. Bangladesh registered its highest daily caseload of 16,230 on July 28 last year and daily fatalities of 264 on August 10 the same year.
Bangladesh reports 118 more dengue cases, zero death
One hundred and eighteen more people were hospitalised with dengue in the 24 hours to Friday morning. However, the official death toll from the mosquito-borne disease remained unchanged at 263 – the highest on record after the 179 deaths recorded in 2019 – as no fatalities were reported during this period, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). A total of 1,217 dengue patients, including 692 in the capital, are now receiving treatment at hospitals across the country. The DGHS has recorded 59, 813 dengue cases and 58,333 recoveries so far this year. Read: Dengue death toll now 263 with three more deaths Bangladesh is being hit hard by a recurrence of an outbreak of dengue, the disease that is endemic to the country. Doctors and health experts say that measures taken by the city corporations and other authorities are not proving to be effective. The publicity and drives carried out by the authorities to destroy larvae of Aedes mosquito are proving to be inadequate.
Dengue: Bangladesh reports 380 cases, zero death in 24 hrs
Another 380 people were hospitalised with dengue in 24 hours till Thursday morning. The total fatalities remained unchanged at 254 as no death was reported during this period, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). Of the new patients, 218 were admitted to the hospitals of Dhaka and 162 outside it, said DGHS. Read: Dengue: Bangladesh reports 380 cases, zero death in 24 hrs A total of 1,744 dengue patients, including 981 in the capital, are now receiving treatment at hospitals across the country. The DGHS has recorded 57,738 dengue cases and 55,740 recoveries so far this year.
Bangladesh sees one more Covid death, 15 cases
Bangladesh reported one more Covid-linked death and 15 cases in the 24 hours to Friday morning. With the new numbers, the country's total fatalities rose to 29,434 and caseload to 2,036,612, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). The daily case test positivity rate rose to 0.79 percent from Thursday's 0.45 percent as 1,894 samples were tested. The mortality rate remained unchanged at 1.45 percent and the recovery rate at 97.51 percent.In November, the country reported 10 Covid-linked deaths and 1,345 cases. Read: Bangladesh logs 12 Covid cases in 24 hrs Bangladesh registered its highest daily caseload of 16,230 on July 28 last year and its highest number of fatalities of 264 on August 10 the same year.