Deficits, debt in The Monday Briefing
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Our summer quiz offers an eclectic test of knowledge, of pandemic-related developments, many in economics and business. The answers and a brief explanation of the factors at work are at the end of the quiz.
You may not have been able to get to your preferred holiday haunt this year, but we hope that our summer reading list will offer a distraction wherever you spend your summer break. The eight articles are available free online, although some websites restrict the number of articles that can be accessed without charge each month.
So far 2021 has been a year of improving global economic prospects, particularly in advanced economies. The rollout of vaccines and an easing of restrictions across the West have underpinned a strong recovery in activity – albeit one marked, increasingly, by surging cases of the Delta variant.
Throughout history economies have been shaped by shocks, from recessions to technological shifts and energy transitions. The Great Depression helped change thinking about the role of government, paving the way for a permanent expansion in the state. The switch from steam power to electricity triggered a vast reorganisation of manufacturing.
The emergence of a novel respiratory disease in late 2019 in Hubei province marked the start of what was to become a global pandemic. While the first recorded cases were in China, China has suffered a remarkably low death rate and has avoided the deep recessions that have befallen the rest of the world.
The world is emerging from a deep recession, and the recovery is coming faster than expected. With more than 800m vaccines administered globally, activity holding up despite lockdowns and additional fiscal stimulus coming, economists have been upgrading their GDP forecasts.
Join me for our Spring economic update webinar on Tuesday, 30 March, 14:30–15:30 GMT. To register please visit: https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1440317&tp_key=533939db50
Strange though it might seem, amid the greatest economic downturn since the Depression, equities have soared. Markets had a dreadful start in 2020. The dawning realisation that the world faced a global pandemic triggered a crash, with global stocks losing a third of their value in the five weeks to 23 March. Since then, equities have staged a comeback, rising by 70% and shrugging off a rising death toll, the discovery of new, more contagious variants of the virus, further lockdowns, Brexit and America’s political turmoil. The world economy is significantly smaller today than it was a year ago, while global equity markets are 12% higher.
Join our next fortnightly COVID-19 webinar on Thursday, 3 December, at 13:00 GMT. We will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the future of the city and what this means for the high street. Register here: https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1365454&tp_key=8f4d835e66&sti=mmb
Faced with choosing to write about the US elections or the lockdown in England in this week’s briefing we are doing the obvious thing and covering both.