Macroeconomic indicators remain robust, but vaccine supply delays in some regions and the emergence of new Covid-19 strains have dampened sentiment.
The US congress is negotiating President Biden’s proposed US$1.9 trillion stimulus package, which includes US$1,400 payments to low-income workers.
The EU has imposed tougher restrictions on visitors and the UK will introduce tighter border controls to prevent the spread of new Covid-19 strains.
The Biden administration will seek to repair relations with China but will face immediate challenges as China steps up military activity around Taiwan.
The RBA left the cash rate on hold at 0.1% and announced it will buy an additional $100 billion of Australian government bonds before ceasing purchases in April.
The pandemic still looms large across the global economic landscape, with over 100 million confirmed Covid-19 cases worldwide at the start of February.
Covid-19 vaccines have begun rolling out across the country as daily confirmed cases continue to fall.
The European Union imposed tougher restrictions on visitors from outside the bloc, with travellers from countries with a higher infection rate than the EU (more than 25 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days) required to enter quarantine.
China has been among the frontrunners in the global vaccine race, with late-stage trials underway for the Sinovac-developed CoronaVac in at least 16 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Japan’s economy, which was battling recession even before the pandemic hit, remains in precarious shape.
New positive Covid-19 cases in New South Wales and Victoria have prompted increased testing and tracing to prevent further outbreaks.
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