The US jobless rate rose for the first time since the start of the year, inflation in Europe hit a fresh record high and China’s retail activity showed signs of stagnating because of the government’s Covid Zero policy.
Meantime, one research group indicated surging energy bills risk leading to a double-digit slump in UK inflation-adjusted disposable incomes and pushing millions into poverty.
Here are some of the charts that appeared on Bloomberg this week on the latest developments in the global economy:
USEmployers added a healthy number of jobs in August and a steady stream of people entering the job market pushed the unemployment rate higher, suggesting a tight labor market is easing and offering mixed implications for the Federal Reserve.
The number of container ships headed for the California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach — a traffic jam that once symbolized American consumer vigor during the pandemic — declined to the lowest level since the bottleneck started to build two years ago. An all-time low eight vessels were in the official queue as of late Monday.
EuropeEuro-area inflation accelerated to another all-time high, strengthening the case for the European Central Bank to consider a jumbo interest-rate hike when it meets next week. Consumer prices in the 19-nation currency bloc jumped 9.1% in August from a year ago, led by energy and food.
Britons are set for the biggest squeeze on living standards in a century unless the next prime minister delivers tens of billions pounds of additional support, according to new analysis. The Resolution Foundation warned of a 10% fall in real disposable incomes over two years as soaring energy bills drive inflation well into double digits.
Euro-area economic confidence dropped to its lowest level in 1 1/2 years as inflation breaks record after record and limited energy supplies push the region closer to a recession. Sentiment declined in industry and services as energy shortages jeopardize output and soaring prices curb demand.
AsiaChina’s economic growth slowdown has triggered a stark contrast in fortunes for its trading partners across Asia, with northern neighbors suffering while economies in the southeast are broadly holding up. The world’s No. 2 economy is still dealing with a slump in consumption and output brought on by lockdowns, compounding the hit to demand from a global semiconductor slowdown.
China’s retail activity flatlined in August with e-commerce demand especially weak, according to satellite data, suggesting that consumer caution due to the ongoing Covid Zero policy and elevated unemployment remain major drags on the world’s second-largest economy.
WorldGlobal inflation is finally coming off the boil, even if it’s set to remain far too hot for the liking of the world’s central bankers. That doesn’t mean an early return to the subdued inflation that much of the world enjoyed before the twin shocks of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine — or the end of monetary tightening anytime soon.
Central bankers in Hungary raised the benchmark interest rate by a full percentage point to 11.75%, the highest key rate in the European Union. Gambia also lifted its rate by 100 basis points. Guatemala opted for a 50-basis-point hike, while policy makers in the Dominican Republic went for 25.
Emerging MarketsTurkey’s economy lurched forward at a faster rate than expected, as the highest inflation in 24 years prompted consumers to bring forward purchases in anticipation of steeper prices ahead.
About this time last year, Chileans were feeling flush and the local economy was hotter than perhaps any other on Earth. What’s shocking now to many in a country that’s long prided itself on having the most stable economy in all of Latin America is the sudden nature of the turn toward stagflation. It’s happening far more quickly and violently here than across the rest of the globe.
(With assistance from Beril Akman, Andrew Atkinson, Enda Curran, Valentina Fuentes, Tom Hancock, Michelle Jamrisko, Laura Malsch, Rich Miller, Brendan Murray, Reade Pickert, Zoe Schneeweiss, Eduardo Thomson, Alexander Weber and Sarah Zheng)
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