Charting the Global Economy: Factory Output Improving in Asia
Industrial production in Japan climbed by the most on record, while South Korea’s factory output advanced solidly -- signs manufacturing is gathering pace as supply-chain woes ease.
Here are some of the charts that appeared on Bloomberg this week on the latest developments in the global economy:
Japan’s industrial production jumped by a record in November, adding to evidence that a manufacturing recovery from supply chain snags was solidly underway before the omicron variant started to spread. A bounce back in the auto industry helped production climb 7.2% from October’s level, the biggest gain in data back to 1978.
South Korea’s factory production jumped the most since mid-2020 last month, suggesting supply disruptions that hurt manufacturing in key industries were easing before an omicron-triggered surge in global infections.
China’s manufacturing sector continued to expand in December, providing some relief to Beijing as the world’s second-largest economy continues to struggle with the ongoing property market slump.
The U.S. merchandise-trade deficit widened to a record in November as imports surged to an all-time high. The gap increased to $97.8 billion from a revised $83.2 billion during the prior month.
Europe never paid so much for electricity as in 2021. The average cost of power for delivery in the short-term soared to record levels, rising more than 200% in Germany, France, Spain and the U.K. In the Nordic region -- where vast supplies of hydro power tend to cap prices -- costs surged 470% from a year earlier.
Two decades after euros were first minted and distributed across households in Europe, billions in cash denominated in the national currencies that were abandoned remains out there. How much will actually be swapped is unclear -- as are the reasons why it hasn’t been so far.
With global inflation soaring, central banks across emerging markets raised borrowing costs in 2021, with Brazil and Russia the major economies with the biggest interest rate increases. Brazil is predicted to continue that trend in 2022.
Poor rainfall over vast tracts of southern Africa has delayed crop plantings and prompted a presidential call for prayer, with drought conditions threatening the 2022 harvest and stoking risks of higher food inflation.
Brazil’s unemployment rate fell more than expected in October, a boost for Latin America’s largest economy as it sludges through recession.
In the decade ahead, the world economy is expected to average annual growth of around 3.2%, slightly below the average of 3.5% in the period from 2010-2019, according to Bloomberg Economics. The situation in major economies will continue to shift: China will still outperform, though with growth on a slowing trajectory as debt, demographics and reduced catch-up space drag.
The combined fiscal and monetary stimulus efforts of the U.S., China, euro zone, Japan and eight other developed economies caused their aggregate money supply to increase by $20 trillion over the course of 2020 and 2021 to a record $100 trillion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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