• Daily Digest

    Daily Digest 10/12 — IMF Trims View on Growth Rebound; High Food Prices are Here to Stay…

    by Whitney

    Tuesday, October 12, 2021, 9:57 AM

Economy

IMF Trims View on Growth Rebound as ‘Dangerous Divergence’ Seen – Bloomberg

The International Monetary Fund expressed concern the global economic recovery has lost momentum and become increasingly divided, even as it stuck by its prediction for a robust rebound from the Covid-19 recession.

The Washington-based lender now expects output to expand 5.9% worldwide this year, down 0.1 percentage point from what it anticipated in July and a bounce from the 3.1% contraction of 2020, it said on Tuesday in its latest World Economic Outlook. It held the forecast for 2022 at 4.9%.

High food prices are here to stay – Kraft Heinz – RT

Consumers will have to get used to increasing food prices, as pandemic-shaken economies and the global energy crunch have placed an enormous burden on the world’s food producers, Kraft Heinz CEO Miguel Patricio has warned.

Patricio admitted that the world’s fifth-largest food and beverage company has been raising prices of such products as ketchup and baked beans “where necessary around the world.” Kraft Heinz has reportedly increased prices for more than half of its products in the US, the company’s home market, and expects to do the same elsewhere.

Oil Price Jumps Above $80 and Natural Gas Races Higher, Turbocharged by Supply Shortages – WSJ

The extended climb in oil prices is leaving some other industrial commodities behind, a divergence that reflects bets that energy supply shortages will offset any slowdown in the global economy.

Coal Hits Another Record in China as Floods Deepen Energy Crisis – Bloomberg

Thermal coal futures surged to a record for a second day in China as another key mining region suffered flooding, complicating efforts to boost supply and halt an escalating energy crisis.

Two mines in Shaanxi province have been impacted by heavy rainfall, the Securities Times reported, adding to issues in neighboring Shanxi, the country’s biggest coal-producing region. Floods closed 60 of the 682 coal mines in Shanxi in recent days, though some sites are now slowly resuming operations.

China’s property sector stalked by Evergrande default fears – Reuters

Debt-saddled Chinese property firms took heavy fire in bond markets on Tuesday, after the poster child of the sector’s woes, Evergrande Group (3333.HK), missed its third round of bond payments in as many weeks and others warned of defaults.

Southwest Airlines shares tumble after mass flight cancellations, carrier weighs more cuts – CNBC

Southwest Airlines shares slipped Monday after it canceled more than 2,000 flights since Saturday, disrupting the travel plans of thousands of people.

Southwest’s operation improved since the weekend meltdown but cancellations continued. It scrapped 363 flights on Monday, down from 1,124 on Sunday, which was 30% of its schedule, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware.

The airline has already said it would trim its fall schedules to avoid cancellations and delays that plagued its operation during the summer. Now the carrier is weighing whether it needs to cut more.

Bitcoin Rally Pauses Near $57,000 as Traders Await New Catalysts – Bloomberg

A rally in Bitcoin paused around the $57,000 level Tuesday amid ongoing speculation that the largest cryptocurrency could retest the record highs reached earlier this year.

The digital currency fell about 1% to $56,700 as of 11:05 a.m. in Hong Kong, while the wider Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index edged lower. Bitcoin is up 90% from a July low and in sight of its mid-April record of almost $65,000.

Environment

Why Some Surprising Countries Are Setting Net-Zero Goals – Bloomberg

Russia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, three of the world’s most fossil-fuel reliant countries, signaled last week that they could be net-zero within decades.

The news provoked two polar reactions: Delight that even the most recalcitrant nations acknowledged the threat of global warming, or declarations that “net-zero” had lost all credibility if any petrostate could simply declare a target without any accountability.

Killer whales spotted in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour a sign of return to balanced ecosystem, expert says – CBC

Andrew Trites, a professor at the University of British Columbia and director of the marine mammal research unit, says he’s quite certain the killer whales seen in Johnson’s videos are Bigg’s killer whales, transient orcas that eat small mammals.

He says the fact there were only two spotted in the footage is one clue, as the other type of killer whales found in the Salish Sea, the endangered southern residents, usually travel in larger groups.

Killer whales have been increasingly spotted close to shore in recent weeks, Trites says.

“What you’re seeing is the return of marine mammals to the Salish Sea. Some of them have been absent for 100 years and they’ve come back,” he said.

China’s coal convulsion threatens climate goals – Axios

China’s energy crisis is a wild card in the fraught efforts to secure a meaningful deal at the UN climate summit in Glasgow.

Driving the news: Power shortages and the push for more coal supplies are in tension with calls for Chinese officials to accelerate their climate efforts.

Health

Texas governor orders ban on employee vaccine mandates – Yahoo

Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday issued an executive order prohibiting any entity in Texas from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for employees or consumers, an expansion of a prior order limited to government entities.

Abbott also asked lawmakers to tackle the issue during the current special legislative session, ensuring that “no entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine.”

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said in a statement.

Indiana Family Accuses Walgreens Of Giving COVID Vaccine Instead Of Flu Shot – International Business Times

An Evansville, Indiana, family claims a local Walgreens pharmacy mistakenly inoculated with them the Pfizer COVID vaccine instead of the flu shot last week.

Joshua and Alexandra Price and their two children, ages 4 and 5, thought they received their annual flu shot Oct. 4 before getting a call from a Walgreen pharmacy employee about 90 minutes later explaining the vaccine mix up, WEHT, an ABC affiliate out of Henderson, Kentucky, reported.

There is not a COVID vaccine authorized for use in children under the age of 12.

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