Goldman Sachs economists have cut their forecasts for China’s economic growth in 2021 as the world’s second-largest economy faces “yet another growth shock” in the form of constraints on energy consumption.
The Wall Street banking giant now expects China’s GDP to grow 7.8% in 2021 compared with a year ago — that’s lower than its previous forecast for an 8.2% year-on-year expansion. Goldman’s downgrade followed similar moves by Nomura and Fitch.
Widespread global disruption to supply is set to see Australian farmers again move to lock in fertiliser and other inputs early for the season ahead, Rabobank says in a recently-released report. This is despite global fertiliser prices at near-decade highs and expected to remain elevated in the short to medium term.
In its semi-annual ‘Global Fertiliser Outlook: High prices to test demand’, Rabobank said global fertiliser prices had reached their highest level since 2012. And while these price highs will “test demand”, this will be in the short term, with the “global fertiliser complex” expected to remain supported due to ongoing high commodity prices.
Rabobank’s senior agriculture analyst Wes Lefroy said this global backdrop was set to underpin high Australian nitrogen (urea) and phosphate prices until at “least the end of Q1 2022”, driving another year of early input purchases for many Australian growers. And the challenges aren’t just confined to fertiliser, with global supply chain disruptions also impacting agri chemicals.
Central banks like the US Federal Reserve are printing more paper money than ever. But Cornell University economics professor Eswar Prasad, who published a new book on the future of money, thinks cash has outlived its usefulness.
Prasad’s book, The Future of Money: How the Digital Revolution is Transforming Currencies and Finance, is a sweeping survey of fintech, crypto assets, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Prasad, who has also written books about the Chinese renminbi and the US dollar, says the research that went into writing it has made him an optimist about our digital future.
Just ahead of the winter season, Europe’s natural gas crunch created a snowball effect in global energy markets. What started as very low gas inventories in Europe during the summer is now spilling over into oil, natural gas, and coal prices all over the world, with no quick fix or signs of a major short-term correction in sight.
Ford has announced a major investment in electric vehicle (EV) production in the US, promising to build its biggest ever factory in Tennessee, and two battery parks in Kentucky.
Under the $11.4bn (£8.3bn) plan, the carmaker said it will build zero-emission cars and pickups “at scale” for American customers. It will also create 11,000 jobs.
A short bureaucratic note from a brutally degraded microstate in the South Pacific to a little-known institution in the Caribbean is about to change the world. Few people are aware of its potential consequences, but the impacts are certain to be far-reaching. The only question is whether that change will be to the detriment of the global environment or the benefit of international governance.
In late June, the island republic of Nauru informed the International Seabed Authority (ISA) based in Kingston, Jamaica of its intention to start mining the seabed in two years’ time via a subsidiary of a Canadian firm, The Metals Company (TMC, until recently known as DeepGreen). Innocuous as it sounds, this note was a starting gun for a resource race on the planet’s last vast frontier: the abyssal plains that stretch between continental shelves deep below the oceans.
But the Kellys, who live in Seattle, had agreed just after their diagnoses to join a clinical trial at the nearby Fred Hutch cancer research center that’s part of an international effort to test an antiviral treatment on the unvaccinated that could halt Covid early in its course.
By the next day, the couple were taking four pills, twice a day. Though they weren’t told whether they had received an active medication or placebo, within a week, they said, their symptoms were better. Within two weeks, they had recovered.
“I don’t know if we got the treatment, but I kind of feel like we did,” Miranda Kelly said. “To have all these underlying conditions, I felt like the recovery was very quick.”