The Pain Is Spreading - The housing sector has borne the brunt of the Fed's efforts to slow the economy, and this week's data showed the industry continues to reel. But pain is now clearly spreading beyond housing with grim reports on retail sales and manufacturing activity this week.
Bank of Japan Maintains Accommodative Monetary Policy for Now - At a widely anticipated Bank of Japan (BoJ) monetary policy meeting, the central bank pushed back against expectations for a further policy adjustment, maintaining its accommodative monetary policy stance for now. In particular, the BoJ maintained a zero percent target for 10-year Japanese government bond yields, with an unchanged tolerance band of plus or minus 50 bps around that target. Elsewhere, Chinese activity was firmer than expected late last year, as Q4 GDP was flat quarter-over-quarter, and December retail sales and industrial output also surprised to the upside.