“2024 Outlook: Slow growth, elevated inflation & geopolitical tensions to keep the world economy on its toes… The world will welcome 2024 in a couple of weeks. But expectations of a brighter future may be far-fetched if Moody’s latest outlook on 2024 is considered.
“Moody’s Global Macro Outlook 2024-25 suggests that the world economy will slow in 2024 as high-interest rates “percolate through credit channels to the real economy”.
“This means households would only feel the true impact of the high interest rates next year.”
“How climate change endangers global trade…
“Extensive research and forecasts have consistently demonstrated the cascading domino effect on trade precipitated by rising global temperatures. Extreme weather disrupts supply chains, damages transport infrastructure crucial for trade, restricts travel and remodels patterns of comparative advantage.”
“Victoria warned against ‘very inefficient’ hydrogen buses after trial announced [Australia]…
“Australia’s push towards hydrogen-powered buses could lead to governments repeating costly and energy-intensive trials that have failed around the globe, an expert has warned. The Victorian government last week announced two Australian-made hydrogen buses will be rolled out in Melbourne’s west…”
“The UK Pushes People to Accept Pylons as It Upgrades Grids.
“The British government will start a campaign to make people warm up to the idea of new transmission towers near their homes as upgrading aging grid infrastructure becomes a choke point in the race to decarbonize the energy sector.”
“Fruit & veg shortages to be ‘new normal’ for shoppers [UK].
“Suppliers are warning of continued fruit & veg shortages following the impacts of poor weather and low retailer pricing. Empty supermarket shelves would become “business as usual” as existing challenges worsened and new ones emerged, Lea Valley Growers Association secretary Lee Stiles warned.”
“UK voters face ‘living standards disaster’, think tank says…
“British voters are set to suffer a “living standards disaster” as they face an unprecedented fall in household incomes between one national election and the next, even taking Jeremy Hunt’s new tax cut plan into account, a think tank said on Thursday.”
“Inside Jeremy Hunt’s £100bn-a-year battle with Britain’s ballooning debt pile…
“Jeremy Hunt has a £100bn headache… The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) now believes Britain will still be spending £122.5bn a year on servicing the country’s debt by the end of the decade. It revised up its forecasts for debt interest by an average of £20bn-a-year over the next five years.”
“Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is facing a backlash from senior members of his own party after new figures revealed migration is at an all-time high.
“Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick is understood to be pushing for a five-point migration plan while The Daily Telegraph says other Tory MPs are demanding “immediate and massive” action…”
“Huge rise in refugees sleeping rough after Home Office cuts notice period to leave accommodation.
“The number of refugees sleeping rough on London’s streets has risen by 800% in two months, following a change in Home Office policy.”
“Riots erupt in Dublin after children stabbing blamed on migrants…
“Public transport was suspended and patients advised not to travel to a nearby maternity hospital unless absolutely necessary after clashes between riot police and anti-immigrant protesters, who arrived at the scene of the attack beside the main thoroughfare of O’Connell Street.”
“Finland warns Russia it is prepared to shut all border points over migrant pressure…
“Elina Valtonen, Finland’s foreign minister, told the Financial Times that if Russia intensified its operation of allowing migrants from countries such as Yemen, Iraq and Syria to cross without documents, her country could restrict the filing of asylum applications to Helsinki airport — and so exclude its checkpoints along the land border.”
“Poland, Czechs extend border controls with Slovakia to stem illegal migration…
“Slovakia is a transit country for migrants mostly from the Middle East and Afghanistan who are seeking to reach western Europe, especially Germany, after crossing into the European Union via Hungary from Serbia, which is not in the EU.”
“‘Fire on fire’: how migrants got blamed for Greece’s devastating blazes…
“The baseless allegation that scores of migrants had gone on an arson spree was widespread, even being shared by schoolchildren on their phones. “Three migrants found on the mountain … They said: ‘You may throw us in jail, but there’s 600 more ready to burn you,’” read one such message…”
“Geert Wilders is the EU’s worst nightmare. The far-right Dutch election winner, who backs ‘Nexit,’ will be no friend to Brussels…
“A seat for Wilders around the EU summit table would transform the dynamic, alongside other far-right and nationalist leaders already in post. Suddenly, policies ranging from climate action, to EU reform and weapons for Ukraine will be up for debate, and even reversal.”
“The balance sheets of eurozone banks are showing “early signs of stress” after a rise in loan defaults and late payments by customers, the European Central Bank has warned.
“…lenders are facing pressures from higher funding costs, worsening asset quality and lower lending volumes.”
“Contraction of German economy in the third quarter confirmed.
“The German economy remains stagnant – the recent fiscal turmoil will do little to change this any time soon… it is hard to see Germany’s economic stagnation ending any time soon.”
“Recent PMI data for France underscores a deepening economic downturn.
“Manufacturing PMI dropped to a 42-month low, down from 42.8 to 42.6 in November, while Services PMI exhibited a negligible rise from 45.2 to 45.3. Composite PMI edged down from 44.6 to 44.5, signaling sustained contraction in the economy.”
“China property: running out of options as fallout spreads to shadow banking.
“China’s repeated attempts to tackle its worsening property crisis resemble firework displays — full of light and sound, quickly extinguished. Property stock prices have burst upwards with each new set of government measures to boost the market, only to collapse shortly thereafter.”
“China wealth manager Zhongzhi flags insolvency, liabilities of $64 billion.
“China’s Zhongzhi Enterprise Group told investors it is heavily insolvent with liabilities of up to $64 billion, more than double its assets, as one of the country’s leading wealth managers grapples with a deepening property sector crisis.”
“Fed-up voters put Latin American leaders on thin ice.
“The election of brash Argentine upstart Javier Milei shows that an anti-incumbent trend over the past decade is becoming a fixture, analysts say. “There is no left-wing wave or right-wing wave. There is no clear ideological trend. You simply have governing parties losing,” said Ignacio Labaqui…”
“Cuban ministers reveal details of food, fuel shortages amid economic crisis.
“Senior Cuban officials have over several weeks provided an increasingly dire snapshot of a deepening economic crisis in a series of televised prime-time appearances, revealing the extent of the downturn in unprecedented detail.”
“The Chairman, Senate Committee on National Planning and Economic Affairs, Yahaya Abdullahi, has said that Nigeria is facing the worst economic crisis in the history of its existence.
“Abdullahi, who represents Kebbi South Senatorial District, Kebbi State, stated this at the inaugural meeting of the House Committee on Wednesday.”
“Chad struggles with soaring refugee crisis.
“Chad accommodates over one million refugees, constituting one of Africa’s largest and rapidly growing refugee populations. Ongoing conflict in neighboring Sudan has propelled hundreds of thousands across the border, exacerbating humanitarian needs while resources to address them are diminishing.”
“Sudan refugees detail second wave of bloody ethnic purge by Arab forces.
“Arab-led RSF forces have pressed ahead this month with their expulsion of Sudan’s ethnic-African Masalit tribe from West Darfur. Survivors described large-scale killings of Masalit captives at a soccer field and a bridge in the regional capital. As assaults mount, some fear a possible partition of the country.”
“Clashes on border with Israel uproot thousands in Lebanon – again.
“Since the Israel-Hamas war began seven weeks ago in Gaza, the clashes on Lebanon’s border with Israel have displaced nearly 50,000 people, according to U.N. figures, and at least 13 civilians have been killed in Lebanon, Lebanese officials say.”
“Pakistani Crackdown on Iran Border Trade Sparks Protests in Southern Balochistan.
“Informal trade in oil and other goods, which previously provided people in border villages with income, has been halted without putting alternative means of livelihood in place.”
“Tens of thousands of protesters demanding a restoration of Nepal’s monarchy clash with police.
“Riot police used batons and tear gas to halt tens of thousands of supporters of Nepal’s former king who attempted to march to the center of the capital on Thursday to demand the restoration of the monarchy and the nation’s former status as a Hindu state.”
“Myanmar is gripped by the worst escalation in violence since the military seized power in a coup almost three years ago, the UN has said, with intense clashes taking place across a number of states and regions.
“The UN said an escalation in the fighting that began late in October was “the largest in scale and most extensive geographically” since the military coup, and has affected swathes of the country.”
“Financial crises damage people’s mental health – our global review shows who is worst affected…
“Manual workers (such as farmers, tradespeople and those working minimum-wage jobs) are vulnerable as they typically have less of a safety net, while small business owners are particularly susceptible to financial pressures and worries. People at either end of the age spectrum are also more vulnerable…”
“OpenAI was reportedly working on an advanced system before Sam Altman’s sacking that was so powerful it caused safety concerns among staff at the company.
“The artificial intelligence model triggered such alarm with some OpenAI researchers that they wrote to the board of directors before Altman’s dismissal warning it could threaten humanity.”
You can read the previous “Economic” thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a “Climate” thread.
If you found value in this content, please help me continue this work by becoming a patron of my work via Patreon. And if you are already a subscriber or have donated – thank you! It is an enormous help as the cost-of-living crisis ratchets up here in the UK.