Wed. Oct 20th, 2021

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Good evening from London,

A new series of indicators and economic forecasts have once again highlighted the unequal nature of the global coronavirus recovery.

In the eurozone, consumer activity is now back to pre-pandemic levels, according to a new FT analysis of unofficial but timely high-frequency data. Europeans are going shopping and going out more and increasing their use of public transport as high vaccination rates against Covid-19 boost confidence, reopen schools and return workers to offices.

Nomura forecasts growth of 2.3 percent for the block in the third quarter, following recent upgrades of the OECD. But Europe is not out of the woods yet. Recovery is still lagging behind the US and China, and manufacturers are still experiencing supply chain problems.

But even in the US, recovery prospects are overshadowed by concerns about the highly contagious Delta variant of coronavirus, which has caused consumer confidence to seven month low, according to data published yesterday.

The line graph of% change in the same week two years before, with a continuous average of 4 weeks, showing that the OECD weekly tracker of economic activity improves

The picture is much clearer for the Asia-Pacific region, where the World Bank is drastic reduces forecasts for 2021 (China excluded) by two percentage points to 2.5 percent due to the growth of Delta cases and deficient vaccination programs. Poorer households bear the brunt of the slowdown.

A good example is Vietnam, which reported today on record decline in GDP of more than six percent in the third quarter as the country struggles to cope with the increase in infections in the main business district of Ho Chi Minh City.

Meanwhile, an increase in cases in Australia has forced companies, including BHP, Macquarie and Qantas, to warn that the resulting crashes are the result ‘Long-term’ economic problems.

Due to complaints heard in the western capitals earlier in the pandemic, the Australian Business Council argued that “as vaccination rates increase, it will become necessary to open up society and live with the virus, in the same way as in other countries “.

Latest news

  • The French government has said it will propose an extension of the state of emergency so it can impose closures until the summer of 2022

  • The UK Petrol Retailers Association has said there are signs the crisis at the pumps has eased, with only 27 per cent of members believing in fuel (Reuters)

  • European banks have reached the gap to reach new global capital standards after pandemic restrictions on dividends boosted balance sheets last year

Visit us. For the latest coronavirus updates live blog

Must know: the economy

US Democrats struggle to US debt ceiling and avoid a ‘catastrophic’ standard after Republicans blocked an increase in spending limits. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the government will Run out of money to meet its obligations to debtors on 18 October.

Shares stabilized today inflation fears yesterday, European equities led to the strongest decline in two months and Wall Street to its highest worst day since May. Investors were upset by policymakers’ suggestions that interest rate hikes could come faster than expected, in addition to sharp rises in oil and natural gas prices.

Latest for UK and Europe

President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde has distanced the ECB of the tendency for monetary tightening at other central banks, promising not to ‘overreact to transitional stock shocks’ that are driving up inflation.

The pioneering work against vaccines at universities during the pandemic highlights the UK research points, but can the country become a ‘scientific superpower’? Scientific editor Clive Cookson reviews the evidence in our series on whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s reforms can changing the face of Britain. The government announced today that it would facilitate regulations on the gene editing of tumors in a departure from EU rules after Brexit.

Global latest

The global securities market is set for the worst month since early 2021, as investors dump government bonds after the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England tightened the policy. Veteran investor Mohamed El-Erian wrote in the FT that the sale of the mortgage was a clear warning to the Fed that the longer the “decline” of its pandemic measures greater risk of market disruption.

Line graph of 10-year government returns (%) showing that bond yields jumped higher

Must know: business

An “Avengers rally” is how British Chancellor of the Exchequer Paul Scully described his all-star panel hospitality sector recovery from the pandemic. A letter published in the FT of more than 65 industry leaders warned that the sector was ‘close to imploding’ due to a shortage of labor after Brexit and the pandemic. Watch our movie on how restaurant handle staffing and supply chain problems.

Clothing Store Following has upgraded his forecast for the fourth-yes, fourth-time this year and said the annual profit would reach a five-year high of £ 800 million after trading ‘substantially surpassed’ in the first half of the year. The United Kingdom grocery sector meanwhile, a big moment is looming on Saturday, when the outcome of the takeover blow for Wm Morrison, the country’s fourth largest supermarket chain, will be decided at a one – day auction.

As with the retail’s shift to digital, the beverage industry is another example of how the pandemic fueled trends that were already underway. Against the backdrop of declining overall consumption, premium producers thrived as closed consumers spoiled themselves with luxury drinks. At the same time, non-alcoholic options have gained ground among the more health conscious. “Drink better, not anymore” became the call of the operations, writes the chief commentator of the business, Brooke Masters.

Compare the line graph of annual per capita alcohol consumption (liters) showing drinking habits around the world

The world of work

For those of you who take stock after another odd year and are considering starting a new business, startup investor June Angelides offers some tips on how to build your business.

Covid cases and vaccinations

Total global cases: 232.7 m

Get the latest global picture with us vaccine detection

And finally …

Touch, the least of our senses, is also the weakest in the modern world, writes columnist Janan Ganesh, who lovingly looks back on the tangible-if-limited-experience that the BlackBerry. He writes that the device was a golden age of the internet for a short time, before smartphones helped social media Speaker’s Corner at Gin Lane.

An old BlackBerry model
Whaddya mean, will you tweet it? © Getty

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