Charting the Global Economy: Snarled Supply Chains, Weaker Data
(Bloomberg) -- Retail sales in the U.S. softened while Japan avoided slipping into a recession, highlighting how the coronavirus remains an unrelenting headwind for the global recovery.
Supply-chain hiccups and shortages have driven up costs for companies, including those in Germany where two-thirds of firms say they’re passing on higher prices to customers. And other fresh data showed China’s economy slowed more than expected last month.
Here are some of the charts that appeared on Bloomberg this week on the latest developments in the global economy:
Retail sales fell in July by more than forecast, reflecting a steady shift in spending toward services and indicating consumers may be growing more price conscious as inflation picks up.
If there’s a single word that captures how Americans feel about their economy as the second pandemic summer draws to a close, it could conceivably be: “meh.” Wages have lagged behind the increase in consumer prices. Though the leisure and hospitality industry, a major employer of lower-paid workers, is an exception.
This year Italy and Spain are set to record the fastest paces of economic expansion in more than four decades, a strong rebound that will help the countries overcome last year’s deep recession. The brighter outlook highlights how southern Europe -- for years associated with debt crises and economic malaise -- may be able to turn the page.
U.K. wage growth hit a record as companies posted more than 1 million new job vacancies for the first time in an unprecedented scramble for staff following the loosening of lockdown rules. Average earnings in the three months through June surged a record 8.8% from a year earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Most German companies expect widespread supply-chain problems to persist into next year, threatening to damp the economy’s post-pandemic recovery. Some 88% of German companies in the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce survey reported higher prices for goods and services they use for their own production. Two-thirds said they’re passing higher costs on to customers.
China’s economy slowed more than expected in July, adding to signs that the global recovery is coming under pressure as the delta virus variant snarls supply chains and undermines consumer confidence.
Japan skirted a recession last quarter as consumer spending rebounded despite virus restrictions. Renewed investment by businesses and increased government outlays also helped the economy grow.
Australia’s labor market softened in July, despite the jobless rate falling to the lowest level since 2008, as an outbreak of the delta variant of coronavirus shuttered Sydney and put people off looking for work. Hours fell and underemployment climbed in a sign of the pressure that stay-at-home orders are beginning to exert on the job market, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed.
South Africa’s economic growth prospects waned for the first time this year after deadly riots and a cyber attack on the nation’s ports operator weighed on activity.
India intends to grow the wild tiger population by 35% to as many as 4,000 in the next decade, which would protect forests while also boosting economic gains from conservation, according to a top official overseeing the nation’s tiger program.
Thailand is heading for a rare current account deficit this year with the country missing out on the billions of dollars earned from tourism, likely piling more pressure on the nation’s already battered currency.
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