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Global military spending hits highest level since 1988Military spending as a share of GDP – the military burden – reached a global average of 2.4% in 2020, up from 2.2% in 2019. This was the biggest year-on-year rise in the military burden since the global financial and economic crisis in 2009…

“The US, China, India, Russia, and the UK were the top five spenders in 2020, with 62% of the global military expenditure, the survey said.”

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/global-military-spending-hits-highest-level-since-1988/2220835


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Bank of England considers ‘going Swedish’ with Britcoin… “No cash” signs are a frequent feature in central Stockholm. In 2018, just 1pc of Sweden’s GDP was circulating in cash, compared to 11pc across the eurozone.

“The trend is being mirrored in the UK… Now, both nations are on a quest to understand how a new type of digital currency can stop the countries’ central banks being sidelined in the future of money.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2021/04/25/bank-england-considers-going-swedish-britcoin/


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Never mind debts in Greece or Italy, it’s France that’s heading for a crisis… Which country in Europe has the most total government debt?

“…As of this month, it is France. In hock to the tune of €2.67 trillion (£2.32 trillion), this month it finally overtook Italy as the Continent’s biggest debtor – and the third biggest globally.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/04/26/never-mind-debts-greece-italy-france-heading-crisis/


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Twenty retired generals and scores of ex-officers have sparked a political furore in France after calling on President Emmanuel Macron to stop the country from descending into chaos and “civil war” at the hands of Islamists

“…the appeal has gained traction just days after a woman police employee had her throat slashed by an Islamist who had entered France illegally from Tunisia before eventually being granted residency.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/04/26/retired-generals-warning-impending-civil-war-france-sparks-political/


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Bloodletting: Spanish banking sector reels as thousands let go:

“In Spain where bank tellers were once legion, the sector is again reeling from thousands of more job cuts as a 10-year trend gathers pace due to the ongoing pandemic.”

https://www.dailysabah.com/business/finance/bloodletting-spanish-banking-sector-reels-as-thousands-let-go


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Italy eases Covid restrictions, as parliament weighs EU recovery package amid worst recession since World War II.

“Three-quarters of Italy have begun to ease Covid measures as the nation starts to emerge from months of lockdown after regional governments and residents protested continued restrictions amid a deepening recession in the country.”

https://www.rt.com/news/522156-italy-covid-restrictions-eu-recovery-package/


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Will Teenage Debt Cripple China’s Luxury Market? …Gen Zers reportedly buy 15 percent of all luxury goods sold in China

“…a 2019 HSBC survey highlighted that the debt-to-income ratio of Chinese consumers born in the 1990s had reached a whopping 1,850 percent.”

https://jingdaily.com/china-generation-z-debt/


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India’s COVID surge imperils global economic recovery: US Chamber

“Myron Brilliant, an executive vice president of the Chamber, the biggest US business lobby, said on Monday that the risk of spillover effects was high given that many US companies employ millions of Indian workers to run their back-office operations.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/4/27/indias-covid-surge-imperils-global-economic-recovery-us-chamber


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Zimbabwe street vendors reel under virus curbs… The UN World Food Programme in a recent report, noted “a sharp decline in the standard of living” among the urban poor…

“Zimbabwe’s economy has been struggling for over a decade with hyperinflation and an economic downturn.”

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210426-zimbabwe-street-vendors-reel-under-virus-curbs


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Uganda says may approach creditors for suspension of debt repayments:

“Uganda said on Monday it may approach its major creditors including China and the World Bank to negotiate a possible suspension of loan repayments amid a growing default risk after its debt load ballooned 35% in a single year.

https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/uganda-says-may-approach-creditors-suspension-debt-repayments-2021-04-26/


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Chad faces devastating lean season, food crisis… Lean season is the period between planting and harvesting when job opportunities are scarce and incomes plummet…

““The number of food insecure people is expected to increase from nearly 4 million (March-May 2021) to 5.1 million from June to August 2021, when food is scarce before the next harvest,” the WFP said.”

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/chad-faces-devastating-lean-season-food-crisis/2221288


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Nigeria: Hunger Looms as Food Prices Spike

With food inflation leaning at a tipping point of 23 per cent amid the recent 18.17 per cent inflation figure released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), tougher times now await Nigerians, LEADERSHIP Sunday can now reveal.”

https://allafrica.com/stories/202104250004.html


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Photos and videos of a mass irregular migration attempt in Fnideq, northern Morocco went viral on Sunday… A group of young Moroccans lined up on the town’s beach in an attempt to swim from Fnideq to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta…

The situation… emphasized the frustration in the region regarding the socio-economic crisis…”

https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/04/340705/videos-of-mass-irregular-migration-in-morocco-spark-socio-economic-concerns/


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Terrorist Group Steps Into Venezuela as Lawlessness Grows

“Venezuela’s economic collapse has so thoroughly gutted the country that insurgents have embedded themselves across large stretches of its territory, seizing upon the nation’s undoing to establish mini-states of their own.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/26/world/americas/venezuela-terrorist-colombia-ELN.html


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Venezuela’s Armed Forces reported new clashes with a Colombian irregular group on the border with Bogota.

“The clashes resulted in a “significant number” of Colombian causalities, and “some” Venezuelan casualties,” said the forces in a statement on Monday.”

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/venezuela-reports-new-clashes-on-colombian-border/2221601


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Mexico’s economy extended its decline as it shrank more than expected in February… The Mexican economy contracted by 5.1% in February…

Latin America’s second largest economy has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic…”

https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/mexican-economy-shrinks-more-than-expected-in-february-2021-04-26


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Prosperous Costa Rica faces reckoning on debt

“Covid-19 has brought a reckoning. As the economy contracted 4.5 per cent last year and the important tourism sector slumped 40 per cent, a debt burden approaching 70 per cent of gross domestic product proved unsustainable.”

https://www.ft.com/content/1f5c2c32-25b9-481d-a034-98f50d257a39


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Caribbean food security during COVID-19 can only be ensured through debt relief...

“The pandemic and global trade disruptions have highlighted the growing vulnerability of Caribbean states when it comes to importing food items. Annually, Caribbean states import food items valued at nearly US$5 billion for food security.”

https://theconversation.com/caribbean-food-security-during-covid-19-can-only-be-ensured-through-debt-relief-158759


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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Agriculture Minister issues food security alert

“The catastrophic situation in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which suffered a series of volcanic eruptions this month that left the country in a state of emergency, is affecting the availability and affordability of food…”

https://dominicanewsonline.com/news/homepage/homepage-carousel/saint-vincent-and-the-grenadines-agriculture-minister-issues-food-security-alert/


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Puerto Rico’s population fell 11.8 percent to 3.3 million over the past decade

“Puerto Rico has suffered a string of disasters and setbacks that have led to an exodus of island residents to the U.S. mainland. Those include drought, near economic collapse because of crushing debt, and thrashings from hurricanes…”

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/puerto-ricos-population-fell-118-31-million-census-shows-rcna767


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2020 Census shows U.S. population grew at the second slowest pace in history

“The first numbers to come out of the 2020 Census show the U.S. population on April 1, 2020 — Census Day — was 331.5 million people, an increase of just 7.4 percent between 2010 and 2020…

“The slowdown is probably due to the aging of the country’s White population, decreased fertility rates, and lagging immigration.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/interactive/2021/2020-census-us-population-results/


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US companies plan price rises as inflation pressure builds

“Consumers have been put on notice to expect higher prices for goods ranging from toilet paper to washing machines to restaurant burritos, in a number of recent announcements that underline inflationary pressures across the global economy.”

https://www.ft.com/content/52dc058d-7a6d-4cd0-898e-84bd7f6806a7


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Producer Prices Surge. Germany, China, other Countries Are Now Exporting Inflation, Adding to US Inflation Pressures

“…factory prices have been rising on a month by month basis for the seventh straight months — with large increases over the past three months.”

https://wolfstreet.com/2021/04/25/producer-prices-in-germany-china-other-countries-surge-and-theyre-now-exporting-inflation-adding-to-us-inflation-pressures/


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Pandemic has affected tourism 18 times more than the 2008 financial crisis: WTTC…

““Tourism is currently facing its greatest challenge in history to overcome the adverse situation left in its wake by… COVID-19. And this great challenge also requires a team effort, also unprecedented, that allows us to overcome adversity,” said Guevara Manzo.”

https://www.theyucatantimes.com/2021/04/pandemic-has-affected-tourism-18-times-more-than-the-2008-financial-crisis-wttc/


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

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