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Economic Recovery Masks Dangers of a Divided World: Advanced economies are now forecast to enjoy cumulative growth in GDP per head between 2019 and 2022 just 1 percentage point less than in January 2020. But emerging markets and low-income developing countries are forecast to suffer hits to growth in GDP per head of 4.3 (5.8, without China) and 6.5 percentage points, respectively.

To those who have, it shall be given back. But, from those who have not shall be taken even the little that they had: in January, the World Bank reported the rise in the number of people in extreme poverty last year as a result of Covid-19 at between 119m and 124m. Given the dire forecasts, this calamity seems unlikely to reverse soon…

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It would be unwise to take for granted the strong recovery forecast for the advanced economies. It is possible that new variants invulnerable to today’s vaccines will sweep across the world. It is highly likely that it will prove impossible to reopen borders soon. It is possible, too, that monetary and fiscal policies will turn out to have been too strong…

Moreover, even if high-income countries, China and a few others do recover strongly, many emerging and developing countries are likely to remain in great difficulty, as a result of a painfully slow rollout of vaccines, problems in managing debt, the stresses caused by worsening poverty and limited policy space…

Nothing would be more foolish than for policymakers in rich countries to breathe a sigh of relief and turn their eyes away from the global challenges they confront.”

https://www.ft.com/content/0be32ec5-8a75-48f2-99f3-eb5bcd055287


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The pandemic devastated the once strong US labor market — that much we already knew from various economic data. On Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics added a bit more detail.

Nearly 10% of US families — 9.8% to be precise — included at least one unemployed family member last year. That was double the number from 2019, when 4.9% of families confronted unemployment.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/04/21/economy/pandemic-family-unemployment/index.html


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More than a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of American remain jobless, but even as the economy reopens some employers are finding hiring an unexpected challenge.

“From fears of being infected with the coronavirus to trouble finding childcare to the lure of generous unemployment benefits, some jobless Americans are holding off on re-entering the workforce.”

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210421-millions-of-americans-are-jobless-yet-firms-struggle-to-hire


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Pandemic hits UK household finances harder than EU peers

“UK households have suffered a bigger income shock during the Covid-19 crisis than their French and German counterparts, and are more likely to have run up debts, according to research highlighting the inadequacy of the UK’s welfare safety net.”

https://www.ft.com/content/a163ff7c-f6be-47d3-96d3-fd43e27f7147


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UK: Tensions grow between protesters and scandal-hit police… Police and crime bill proposes sweeping reforms… At almost 300 pages long, the bill proposes to increase police powers during protests…

“This includes handing police chiefs greater authority to restrict “static” protests such as an assembly or a gathering, manage noise levels, and control start and finish times. Under the law, police do not have to give a warning that protesters could be arrested.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/4/20/in-uk-tensions-grow-between-protesters-and-scandal-hit-police


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Scottish fishing leaders have condemned plans for a “scandalous” blockade by French rivals that threatens to prevent them landing their catch.

“Jimmy Buchan, the chief executive of the Scottish Seafood Association, said the action at Boulogne-sur-Mer would damage UK businesses already hard hit by Brexit.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/scottish-fishermen-call-for-action-over-french-plan-to-blockade-port-6d8np60nw


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In Germany, 60 Arrested in Protests Over COVID Restrictions

“Police in central Berlin have clashed with protesters outside the German parliament, which is considering a bill to give Chancellor Angela Merkel the power to impose tougher restrictions as the nation suffers a third wave of coronavirus infections.”

https://www.voanews.com/covid-19-pandemic/germany-60-arrested-protests-over-covid-restrictions


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“A deepening crisis”: Passenger traffic at Europe’s airports set to fall by -64% in 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels

“Passenger traffic at Europe’s airports is set to fall by -64% compared to 2019 as the latest data underlines what Airports Council International (ACI) Europe calls “a deepening crisis in the sector, with air traffic in a continuing downward spiral”.”

https://www.moodiedavittreport.com/a-deepening-crisis-passenger-traffic-at-europes-airports-set-to-fall-by-64-in-2021-compared-to-pre-pandemic-levels/


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Japan’s government is expected to issue a third state of emergency on Tokyo and three western prefectures that could last for about two weeks…

[This] may push Japan back into recession… A renewed state of emergency would also cast doubt on whether Tokyo can host the Olympics in July, despite Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s assurances it will proceed as planned.”

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/recession-risk-looms-as-japan-eyes-third-state-of-emergency-1.4544528


Japanese financial institutions have become more exposed to market risks triggered by non-bank and overseas funds, the central bank warned on Tuesday, in the wake of losses caused by the collapse of family office Archegos Capital Management.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/boj-warns-low-rates-structural-woes-hurt-banks-even-after-pandemic-subsides-2021-04-20/


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A slide in the rupee is exacerbating a slump in Indian corporate dollar notes that are now among the worst performers in Asia, just as concerns mount that companies are hedging less…

The weaker rupee pushes up servicing costs on foreign debt. The currency has plunged about 2.4% against the dollar this month… Spiking Covid-19 cases threaten to worsen the selloff.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-22/rupee-fall-is-hurting-bonds-now-among-asia-s-worst-india-credit


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India’s health care system and other essential services are close to collapse as a second coronavirus wave that started in mid-March tears through the country with devastating speed.

“On Wednesday, the country saw its highest daily rise in infections and deaths since the start of the pandemic…”

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/04/21/world/coronavirus-newsletter-intl-04-21-21/index.html


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17 child migrants disappear every day in Europe since 2018… Some 5,768 children disappeared in 13 European countries last year alone…

“The majority of the children who have gone missing since 2018 have traveled from the Middle East and North Africa, with significant numbers arriving from Morocco and Algeria.”

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1846576/middle-east


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President of Chad Idriss Deby dies in clashes with rebels one day after winning election

“Mr Deby, 68, died of wounds suffered on a visit to the frontline of a campaign against rebels in northern Chad, the military said on national television and radio on Tuesday.”

https://news.sky.com/story/president-of-chad-dies-in-clashes-with-rebels-one-day-after-winning-election-12281147


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Thousands flee fresh clashes in Central African Republic

“Violence flared across CAR following last December’s contested elections, with armed elements allied with former president François Bozizé attacking several towns and villages. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced within the country as well as into neighbouring ones.”

https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/04/1090122


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War was easier than this, says Lebanese entrepreneur hit by economic collapse… “With war you get a couple of missiles falling one day and then the next day you pick up and you go back to school or back to work and you start producing and making money,” said Suzanne Mouawad.

“”Now the money is being held at the banks and there is no work.””

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/war-was-easier-than-this-says-lebanese-entrepreneur-hit-by-economic-collapse-2021-04-21/


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Syrian missile explodes in area near Israeli nuclear reactor, Israel retaliates

“Israel and Syria exchanged missile attacks early Thursday morning after Damascus launched an advanced surface-to-air missile that landed all the way in the Negev Desert.”

https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/alarms-sound-in-south-of-israel-665953


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Jerusalem seethes with clashes between Jews, Arabs

“Jerusalem police report having detained more than 50 people suspected of rioting. Police Commissioner Kobbi Shabtai arrived yesterday to east Jerusalem as the situation escalated. Police fear further escalation as members of the extreme right call for supporters to come to Jerusalem and confront local Arab residents.”

https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2021/04/jerusalem-seethes-clashes-between-jews-arabs


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Food insecurity is rising sharply in Myanmar in the wake of the military coup and deepening financial crisis with millions more people expected to go hungry in coming months, the United Nations said on Thursday.

Up to 3.4 million more people will struggle to afford food in the next three to six months with urban areas worst affected…”

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/millions-face-hunger-myanmar-crisis-worsens-united-nations-says-2021-04-22/


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Almost €500,000 of goods were stolen from EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] supply chains every day in 2019 and 2020, according to new data from the Transport Asset Protection Association (TAPA).

“And TAPA warned that these figures were likely to be just the tip of the supply chain crime iceberg…

“Thefts from trucks continued to represent the vast majority if incidents last year…”

https://theloadstar.com/rocketing-cargo-theft-statistics-a-big-wake-up-call-for-all-supply-chain-players/


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Wall Street bears battered by the Reddit crowd earlier this year have yet to regain their gumption, even with stocks at records and valuations near two-decade highs

“”There’s just mass euphoria,” said Benn Dunn, president of Alpha Theory Advisors. “No one wants to get their head ripped off by a short anymore.””

https://www.pionline.com/markets/stock-shorts-collapse-no-hedge-fund-wants-head-ripped


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Global wine consumption fell to its lowest point since 2002 last year amid curbs on hospitality venues amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to Paris-based International Organisation of Vine and Wine…

“OIV puts the total exports of wine-producing countries at an estimated 29.6 billion euros ($35.6 billion), a figure that would represent a fall of nearly seven percent.”

https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2021/04/covid-leads-to-lowest-global-wine-consumption-levels-since-2002/


You can read the previous ‘Economic’ thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a “Climate” thread.

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