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

  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell said officials should weigh removing pandemic support at a faster pace and he retired the word “transitory” to describe stubbornly high inflation
    • Powell’s appetite for a faster tapering of stimulus is casting him in a role unseen since 2018: hawk
    • Bloomberg Economics says Powell’s testimony reinforced its view the Fed will announce a faster taper pace
  • London’s housing market is set to underperform other regions of the U.K. for a third year, with the reshaping of the capital wrought by Brexit and the pandemic continuing to hold back demand in 2022
  • Turkey’s interest rates will continue to fall, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, making a case for an economy freed from dependence on short-term foreign cash and transformed into one that thrives on local production and exports
  • The omicron variant of Covid-19, first identified in South Africa, has been detected in locations from U.K. to Spain and Canada, showing the difficulties of curtailing new strains. For China though, it was business as usual
  • It’s too early to predict how the omicron variant will shape the outlook for the euro area, but Bloomberg Economics sketches out some scenarios. For the global economy, after the tribulations of 2021, Bloomberg Economics’s base case is that 2022 brings the beginning of a return to normality
  • European natural gas prices fell as Russia signaled it’s willing to at least keep its fuel shipments to the region stable, easing concerns of a worsening supply crunch
  • Germany took a step closer toward making Covid-19 vaccinations compulsory as the incoming chancellor threw his support behind the move

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