Wed. Oct 20th, 2021

Coronavirus Economic Impact Updates

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Covid cases and vaccinations

Total global cases: 225.3 m

Total doses given: 5.8 billion

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Latest news

  • Cuba will seek approval from the World Health Organization for three home-given Covid-19 vaccines as it begins firing on toddlers (Reuters)

  • Inflation in Canada reached 4.1% in August – the highest level since March 2003 (Bloomberg)

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom defeats attempts to kick him out about his handling of the pandemic

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This morning’s official figures show an unexpected rise in British inflation to 3.2 percent in August – the highest level since 2012 – is the latest evidence for those who believe we are on the brink of a new inflationary period.

The Bank of England, like its EU and US counterparts, has always insisted that rising inflation would be temporary in the coming months, but must now explain to the government why prices have risen so fast and what it intends to do. is to do It. Poorer households in particular are facing a difficult winter large increases in energy prices coincides with the termination of a temporary boost to universal credit, the main welfare benefit in the UK.

Line chart of CPI inflation JOY (%) showing that UK prices rose in August at their fastest annual rate since 2012

The unexpected jump in British inflation contrasts with yesterday’s data from the US, which shows relieve inflationary pressures due to the decline in key indicators, such as the price of used cars. This has reduced the prospects for an early US Federal Reserve rate hike.

One of the most important indicators for policymakers struggling with rising inflation is the state of the labor market. The Bank of England will look for signs of companies raising prices to pay higher wages as the labor market warms. Data released yesterday shows vacancies in the UK shoot past 1m for the first time.

Global investors remain cautious. A Bank of America survey released yesterday on the outlook for global economic growth shows that fears of inflation level off greater source of pessimism as the distribution of the Delta variant of coronavirus.

Read the economics editor Chris Giles’ article on the five major questions facing the Bank of England

Global economy

UN warns developing economies run the risk of being left behind as their richer counterparts focus on the ‘post-Covid’ world while still struggling to get the vaccines they need. Today’s report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development estimates that developing countries will do the same. $ 12 ton poorer by 2025 than they would have been if the pandemic had not occurred, based on their growth projects in 2017-19. A separate OECD report said GDP in the richest countries in the world delayed to 0.4 percent in the second quarter of 2021, compared to 0.9 percent in the first quarter.

However, there was some encouraging news for poorer countries from the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, who used her speech on the state union to announce that the EU would doubles the share of vaccines with low- and middle-income nations. The commission is also investing € 50 billion in a new vaccine to prepare for future pandemics, called the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA).

New data fueled fears China’s economic recovery slow down. Retail sales in August rose 2.5 percent – well below forecasts – while industrial production also missed targets, rising 5.3 percent. A wide range of factors is blamed for the slowdown in growth, including recent floods, regulatory interventions, new coronavirus infections and a slowdown in property.


Inditex, the world’s largest clothing retailer and best known for its Zara brand, reports a strong setback of the pandemic. Although the business has been hit hard by the forced closure of stores, a strong online performance means that quarterly figures for sales, profits and cash generation were now higher than before the crisis. Rival H&M also has sales back at levels before the pandemic in the US and Europe.

One of the losers of the increase in homework and the consequent decrease in commuters – emphasizes in our interview with London’s transport chief – is the global ‘outdoor’ of $ 40 billion advertising market. Spending on billboards and on travel buttons will remain below pre-pandemic levels until at least 2023.

We Jobs and careers team has the rule over the return-to-work plans at some of the largest companies in the world. The most important findings? Technology enterprises: far and flexible. Financial services companies: office-centric and more rigid. Everyone else: hybrid.


London broker Skil HuntThe announcement that it will be made public later this month and expand to Europe is the latest sign of the boom in stock trading and transactions during the pandemic. Supporting industries such as lawyers, accountants and investment banks have all reported strong results during the crisis.

Shares in casino operators backed down after the government in Macau, a Chinese territory and the world’s largest gambling hub, announced plans increases the investigation of an industry due to the pandemic, margins have already been curtailed. Casino groups’ 20-year concessions to operate in Macau will expire next year.

The necessities

The UK has decided to follow other rich countries in the offer booster vaccine shots. Read us explainer why they are needed. The FT editorial staff welcomed the government to conclude another winter ban, including offers vaccines for children between 12 and 15 years old.

Graph showing that most push-ups in England occur in October and November, with an interval of six months between second dose and booster

Have your say

Lalachi comment on We crawl to an ongoing work week:

Working at home because of Covid is the worst thing that has ever happened to my work-life balance. The time I spent listening to or reading music during my commute time is now spent answering e-mails, rather than something for myself. No more 30 minute breaks to have lunch or coffee with a colleague. People nowadays apologize if they take two hours to answer a no-mail, or 30 minutes to answer an instant. More colleagues and clients work through vacations. Pressure to catch it and let it work again, due to the alleged business impact of the pandemic.

The day also descended when the oldest people had to run to catch their trains to the suburbs. Now they can hand out orders from 5am to late at night without stopping breathing, all without stepping their feet outside their homes.

Last thought

If you are looking for good reading material, then check out our guide for this year Booker Prize. Read the thoughts of Deputy Books, Laura Battle, on yesterday’s shortlist and browse our list of collected reviews. A key focus for judges this year is on novelists who describe ‘forces greater than themselves’.

Books shortlisted for the Booker Prize
This year’s shortlist of the Booker Prize with six strengths

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