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February 21, 2022
The 2008 Beijing Olympics was the event that thrust China well and truly onto the global stage. The spectacular opening ceremony—watched by billions around the world and held in the futuristic ‘bird’s nest’ stadium—was a powerful symbol of the nation at the time: confident, modern, outward-looking.
February 17, 2022
When it comes to global vehicle production, the top three producers mainly steal the headlines as China, the U.S. and Japan account for over 50% of annual output. That being said, the auto industries in the three heavy hitters make up small proportions of their domestic economies. Consequently, the current supply chain issues impacting the auto sector are having much more pronounced impacts in those economies that depend strongly on the auto industry.
February 15, 2022
Extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, heatwaves, cold snaps, storms and wildfires are likely to become increasingly common over the next few years due to climate change, potentially causing significant human casualties and economic damage in the process. Here are the five major likely economic impacts of an increasingly volatile climate:
February 11, 2022
Prices for fertilizers skyrocketed in 2021, with annual growth in U.S. fertilizer prices reaching nearly 80% year-on-year at the end of last year—the highest level since November 2008.
February 3, 2022
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are certificates of ownership for digital artwork. The certificates are registered on a blockchain, which is a digital record that cannot be changed or tampered with. People hold NFTs primarily to gain exclusive rights to digital pictures and videos and because they are status symbols. NFTs can then be sold on secondary markets, and—as last year proved—can fetch hefty returns for creators and sellers in the process.
Going against the tide: China’s monetary stimulus efforts run contrary to those of other major central banks
January 28, 2022
The Chinese economy is currently grappling with numerous regulatory reforms, a bloated, debt-ridden property market, and a zero-tolerance approach to the pandemic, which continues to limit economic growth both domestically and in the region. As a result, over the past couple of months Chinese authorities have taken several measures to stimulate the economy, including a 50 basis-point cut to the reserve requirement ratio and a 15 basis-point cut to the one-year Loan Prime Rate. This comes as major central banks in developed markets look to roll back their stimulus measures to counter price pressures.
January 25, 2022
Oil prices rebounded to over USD 80.0 per barrel in recent days, after fears regarding the impact of the Omicron variant on global demand sent prices freefalling in late November. Since then, concerns have faded just as a flare-up of a number of regional conflicts poses a threat to the supply outlook.
January 13, 2022
Tensions between NATO and Russia have reached boiling point yet again in recent months, due to the country’s longstanding spat with Ukraine. Russia has surrounded the Ukrainian border with roughly 100,000 troops, forcing a bilateral meeting with the U.S. in Geneva this week in an attempt to deescalate tensions. The U.S. authorized significant military aid to Ukraine in December and has said it will levy fresh sanctions on the Kremlin if it invades. Although it still remains uncertain whether Putin will order an invasion, Russia appears to have made a significant investment, laying the ground work for a large-scale military operation.
December 23, 2021
The last couple of months have been a whirlwind in the central banking space, with a drastically more hawkish turn in mid-December from the Bank of England (BoE)—whose directors surprised market analysts by raising rates—which came hours before the Federal Reserve opted to speed up the tapering of its QE purchasing program and pencil in roughly three rate hikes for next year. Moreover, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan also decided to wind down some of their stimulus measures in December, but both remained relatively dovish overall. This comes amid a number of smaller central banks dramatically hiking rates recently due to strengthening economic activity and elevated price pressures. This includes Brazil, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, Colombia, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, Korea and Norway, to mention a few.
December 16, 2021
The Brazilian economy continues to grapple with a double whammy: Inflation hit a near six-year high in November, while interest rates have risen an unprecedented 725 basis points since the start of the year—with the latest and joint-largest hike in recent history delivered at the Central Bank’s meeting on 8 December. Rising price pressures and borrowing costs have hit consumers and businesses hard, and consequently GDP contracted for the second consecutive quarter in Q3, pushing the economy back into recession for the second time in just over a year.
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