The U.S. will send another security package to Ukraine, worth US$275 million, consisting of new capabilities to boost its air defences. This puts the total amount of direct aid the U.S. has delivered to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion at $13 billion. U.S. President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have both affirmed continued aid to Ukraine, with Yellen saying it would do so “so long as it takes”. $38 billion in military aid has been pledged, and a price cap on Russian oil has been implemented. Elsewhere, the Bulgarian parliament has also approved the provision of military aid to Ukraine, something the country refused to do previously due to opposition from political parties friendly to Russia.
Analysts Forecast Mild Recession in 2023
While wall street has sounded the warning on a coming recession, some agree that the coming downturn will be milder than the last two. Economists from Citi Global Wealth Investments as unemployment in the U.S. rises above 5%, with expectations that it would rise to 5.25%. While mild, analysts from JP Morgan have opined that it would be a “swamp” recession – a shallow one that will be difficult to get out of. Meanwhile, some have said that the recession’s mildness will be a double-edged sword since the ensuing rebound or bull market will also be short. One thing’s for certain, 2023 will be a volatile year ahead.
Oil Prices Rebound as Keystone Pipeline Remains Shut
After tumbling 11% last week and hitting a 9-month low on the back of recession warnings, oil prices have rebounded as a critical North American pipeline, the Keystone conduit, remains shut with no concrete timeline for re-opening after a leak of 14,000 barrels was discovered. Additional boosts to oil prices are expected to come from China’s move away from its Covid-zero policy and the gradual reopening of the world’s second-largest economy. Already, travel queries and visa applications have surged – although one should not discount any ongoing fears of the virus.