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Welcome to Friday, Europe. Here’s the latest news and analysis from Bloomberg Economics to help you start the day:

  • U.K. consumer confidence fell in January to depths last seen during the early months of lockdown in 2021 as cost-of-living crisis took over from the pandemic as a prime concern
  • Polish central bank Governor Adam Glapinski has faced criticism for not doing enough to curb inflation and controversy over U-turns on monetary policy. But in Warsaw nowadays, allegiance with the government goes a long way
  • Fed officials are walking a tightrope as they lay the groundwork for a series of interest-rate increases that could begin as soon as March
    • Separately, the Fed took a key step in weighing the creation of its own digital currency
    • Bloomberg Economics says jobless claims swelled last week due to temporary business closures, suggesting a hiring slowdown
  • The Biden administration is monitoring real-time data obtained from businesses operating in China to determine whether outbreaks of the omicron variant of coronavirus pose a risk to U.S. supply chains
  • After a year marked by weeks long labor strikes and unprecedented movements to organize at some of the largest corporations in the U.S., unionization levels fell back to historic lows
  • Gains in Japan’s key consumer prices failed to accelerate toward the Bank of Japan’s target in December, highlighting the ongoing weakness in the economy’s inflation pulse in stark contrast to its global peers

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