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If 2020 was the year of the pandemic, 2021 is shaping up to be the year of stressed supply chains and the shortages economy.

In scale and scope, unprecedented supply shortages have had a cascading impact on global supply chains and prices of key inputs.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/vasukishastry/2021/06/08/welcome-to-stressed-supply-chains-and-the-shortages-economy/?sh=a1234487ab92


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The Biden administration has set up a new “Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force” as part of its response to ongoing shortages of semiconductors and other critical goods.

“The task force, led by the secretaries of commerce, transportation and agriculture, is aiming to tackle bottlenecks in the chip industry, as well as in the transportation sector, home building and construction, and agriculture and food, senior administration officials told reporters.”

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/biden-launches-supply-chain-disruptions-task-force-in-response-to-shortages-11623103588


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The jobs are coming back [US] — but the workers are not. Roughly half of workers recently surveyed said they would turn down a job offer that mandated full-time in-office work.

“Restaurants, hotels and stores are scrambling to find workers to fill lower-paying positions as demand surges along with reopenings. Unlike at their white-collar counterparts, much of the work can’t be conducted remotely, which presents unique challenges.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/jobs-are-coming-back-workers-are-not-n1270168


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Stagflation is U.S. economists’ biggest fear, SIFMA says

“Amid the focus on inflation, SIFMA said that 87% of respondents “view stagflation, as opposed to hyperinflation or deflation, as the bigger risk to the economy.” Stagflation is when slow economic growth is accompanied by high inflation and high unemployment.”

https://www.investmentexecutive.com/news/research-and-markets/stagflation-is-u-s-economists-biggest-fear-sifma-says/


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‘Scared Of Civil Unrest’… Walk into any [Florida] gun store and owners are singing the same tune – firearm sales are up

““Yeah, I’ve seen a big uptick in AR-15s. Anybody who doesn’t have one wants to get one now. And the people who already have them just for target [shooting] are buying three or four more just to have them,” said Roy Gosley.”

https://miami.cbslocal.com/2021/06/09/south-florida-gun-shop-sales-first-time-firearm-owners/


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Mortgage Surge Pushes Canada Consumer Debt to $1.7 Trillion.

“A surge in mortgage borrowing is pushing consumer debt loads higher in Canada despite falling credit card use, as households plow more money into their homes while spending less on everything else.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-08/mortgage-surge-pushes-canada-consumer-debt-to-1-7-trillion


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UK housing market is on fire, warns Bank of England chief economist

“Andy Haldane warned that the property market was likely to continue running hot while all these factors, in combination with the central bank’s ultra-low interest rates, remained in place. He said the recent rise in house prices – which topped 10% over the 12 months to March 2021, according to official data – was very likely to worsen inequality.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jun/08/uk-housing-market-is-on-fire-warns-bank-of-england-chief-economist


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Fresh food is being left to rot undelivered as UK supermarket shelves and restaurant plates sit empty due to nationwide Heavy Goods Vehicle driver shortage, fruit and veg boss says…

“Mr O’Malley wrote: ‘…this is now a crisis of national importance.'”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9667501/Fresh-food-rotting-cold-stores-Brexit-HGV-driver-shortage.html


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Shortages are crippling Germany’s post-Covid recovery in the wake of a shock slump for manufacturers, experts have warned…

Ministers blamed the upset – which leaves industrial output lagging more than 5pc below its pre-Covid level – on “a shortage of producer goods, especially semiconductors and lumber”.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/06/08/shortages-leave-german-economy-shaky-knees/


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Italy’s Tomato Harvest Threatened by Can Shortages

“Tomato sauce on your spaghetti may be harder to come by this year as a global shortage of steel sheets to make cans for food production risks leaving Italian tomatoes rotting in the fields.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2021-06-09/supply-chains-latest-can-shortages-threaten-italian-tomatoes


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The price of goods leaving China’s factories, or ‘China’s factory gate prices’, has risen at the quickest rate in over 12 years, as a result of surging global commodity prices.

It is drawing attention to inflationary pressures while policymakers are trying to stimulate their economies in the aftermath of a coronavirus-induced downturn.”

https://ukinvestormagazine.co.uk/chinas-producer-prices-rise-at-quickest-rate-since-financial-crisis/


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Covid outbreak in China sparks fears of trade disruption.

A Covid-19 outbreak in southern China is curbing activity at some of the country’s biggest ports, stoking fears that further disruption to international trade risks pushing up the price of its exports.”

https://www.ft.com/content/b43cef86-085b-416d-99b8-8c7c054d0f41


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Huarong, Evergrande Bond Slump Tests Too-Big-to-Fail Belief.

“A bond selloff in two of China’s most prolific debt issuers is widening concern over contagion risks in the country’s $862 billion dollar bond market.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-09/huarong-evergrande-bond-slump-tests-too-big-to-fail-assumptions


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China investigates senior bad debt official for corruption… Probe of Great Wall executive comes as global investor concerns grow over defaults…

“The probe is the latest indication of possible financial misconduct in the top ranks of China’s “bad debt” asset management companies, as concerns rise over their high debt levels and falling profits.”

https://www.ft.com/content/3d33d458-1442-48ef-a652-d2af13a98479


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China gets tough on financial sector risk management, extends contingency planning to more institutions

““Recovery and contingency planning is conducive to shoring up financial institutions’ risk awareness and crisis management capacity,” the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said on Wednesday.”

https://www.scmp.com/business/banking-finance/article/3136698/china-gets-tough-financial-sector-risk-management-extends


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Iran mired in economic pain as presidential vote nears.

“When Iranians vote for a new president next week, they will do so in the depths of an economic crisis brought on by crippling sanctions and worsened by the pandemic.”

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210610-iran-mired-in-economic-pain-as-presidential-vote-nears


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Iraq Aims to Go Nuclear to Resolve Crippling Power Shortages.

“Iraq is working on a plan to build nuclear reactors as the electricity-starved petrostate seeks to end the widespread blackouts that have sparked social unrest.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-08/iraq-plans-to-go-nuclear-to-resolve-crippling-power-shortages


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‘This is a revolution’: the faces of Colombia’s protests.

“Fifty-eight people have died in six weeks of unrest – at least 45 of them killed by police – and dozens of people have gone missing… But demonstrators say they are more determined than ever to fight for change.”

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/jun/09/colombia-protesters-inequality-police


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UN special rapporteur to Myanmar warns of ‘mass deaths’ from starvation, disease

“Myanmar has been in chaos and its economy paralysed since the February putsch and a brutal military crackdown on dissent that has killed over 800, according to a local monitoring group.”

https://www.france24.com/en/asia-pacific/20210609-un-special-rapporteur-to-myanmar-warns-of-mass-deaths-from-starvation-disease


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World Bank Sees Strongest Rebound in 80 Years Despite Divergence

“It’s the tale of two recoveries,” Ayhan Kose, director of the World Bank group, said in an interview. “On the one hand, advanced economies, big countries, are delivering fast growth, record growth [but accruing totally unsustainable quantities of debt in so doing]. On the other hand, you have these low-income countries struggling to generate growth.””

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-08/world-bank-sees-strongest-rebound-in-80-years-despite-divergence


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Child labour worldwide increases for first time in 20 years

“Child labour has risen for the first time in two decades and the coronavirus crisis threatens to push millions more youngsters towards the same fate, Unicef has said. The pandemic risks worsening the situation, the agencies say.”

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2021/jun/10/child-labour-worldwide-increases-for-first-time-in-20-years


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Sovereign Defaults Hit Record in 2020; More Are Possible.

“Fitch Ratings-London-08 June 2021: The sovereign issuer-based default rate rose to a record high in 2020 against a backdrop of weakened sovereign credit profiles due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Fitch Ratings says. Downgrade pressures have eased this year, but our ratings indicate that more defaults are possible.”

https://www.fitchratings.com/research/sovereigns/sovereign-defaults-hit-record-in-2020-more-are-possible-08-06-2021


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Haunted by memories of past U.S. interest rate hikes, the world’s central banks are laying the groundwork for a transition to life with less global stimulus, with many countries already signalling moves to the exit

“…more vulnerable central banks are fortifying their financial systems to ward off the type of capital flight that hit emerging markets during the 2013 “taper tantrum,” which was triggered by mere hints of Fed tightening…”

https://www.reuters.com/business/fed-taper-looms-global-central-banks-eye-their-own-exits-stimulus-2021-06-09/


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

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