The Guardian view on the WTO talks: poor countries can’t be kept poor | Editorial

The trade liberalisation of the 1990s did not lead to higher economic growth rates. This should raise serious concerns for backers of globalisationPutting off the crunch meeting of the ministerial World Trade Organization won’t defer the chronic malfunctions of the world economy. The currency and debt crises experienced by developing nations, the eurozone’s turn to austerity and the great financial crash are symptoms of a broken trading system built on the global role of the dollar. Deeply embedded within the world’s trade and capital regime is a hierarchy where cheap labour goods from developing nations keep rich world wages down. Meanwhile, elites in the developing world run their na..

The Guardian > Economics The Guardian view on the WTO talks: poor countries can’t be kept poor | Editorial

FTSE 100, Wall Street and oil rally despite worries over Omicron variant – as it happened

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial newsWall Street has opened higherFTSE 100 index has jumped over 1% so far todayJack Dorsey steps down as Twitter CEOTravel stocks rise after Friday’s tumbleOil jumps by 4%… after Asia-Pacific markets dropped on Omicron fearsWhat does appearance of Omicron variant mean for the double-vaccinated?Europe’s stock markets have rebounded from their worst slump in over a year.The pan-European Stoxx 600 up around 1% this morning, with the Travel and Leisure sector jumping by 3% [having tumbled to one-year lows on Friday].The reports over the weekend that numerous cases of Omicron have already been discovered around the world, suggests it’s..

The Guardian > Economics FTSE 100, Wall Street and oil rally despite worries over Omicron variant – as it happened

Inflation’s back – but is it here to stay? - podcast

The inflation rate keeps going up – and some economists are warning that it’s time to take urgent action. So what is causing the change, what does it mean for ordinary people, and what’s the best way to deal with it?Many younger people won’t remember a time when inflation was a big political issue, or a subject that might affect their day to day lives. But recent increases in the cost of living, partly caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the supply chain crisis, have started to have a real impact. Last week, the CBI warned that shoppers would face the biggest price rises in more than 30 years this Christmas – and with the inflation rate expected to hit 5% next year, the Bank of ..

The Guardian > Economics Inflation’s back – but is it here to stay? - podcast

‘Perfect storm’ for UK manufacturers as costs, credit and cash crunch looms

Sector faces ‘unprecedented combination’ of rapidly rising costs, supply chain woes and high debts from the pandemicBritain’s manufacturers are facing a “perfect storm” crisis of rapidly rising costs and towering debts that many fear could push them over the brink, according to a new survey.The leading industry trade body on Monday urged the government to introduce payment holidays on loans, warning that thousands of firms faced a “tipping point” that could make their business models unviable. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Economics ‘Perfect storm’ for UK manufacturers as costs, credit and cash crunch looms

Even Macron still hopes Brexit Britain will come to its senses

Leaving the EU has had a terrible impact on all parties. We must grasp that it is a policy that cannot be made to work‘Excuse me, sir, but why are you wearing a poppy? Remembrance Day was on Thursday.” The speaker was a Spanish gentlemen. The scene: the breakfast room of a hotel in Valladolid, an hour’s train ride north-west of Madrid, on Saturday, the 13th of this month. I was struggling with the toaster. You know how it is when one arrives at a self-service breakfast room.I replied that I always wore a poppy until Remembrance Sunday, when there was the traditional Cenotaph parade in London. “Ah,” he said. “Forgive me, but why on earth did your country vote the way it did?” Co..

The Guardian > Economics Even Macron still hopes Brexit Britain will come to its senses

The Omicron variant reveals the true global danger of ‘vaccine apartheid’

Sharing vaccines with poorer countries is the right thing and the self-interested thing to do. The west needs to stop being so short-sightedMandatory face masks are back in England. The fear factor has returned. After months of assuming the Covid-19 pandemic was all but over, the UK government has imposed new restrictions in an attempt to curb the spread of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus.Financial markets didn’t wait for the announcement from Downing Street. It is far too early to know how big a threat the new strain poses but investors assumed the worst as soon as the reports arrived from southern Africa. Share prices fell heavily, with airline stocks the hardest hit as travel..

The Guardian > Economics The Omicron variant reveals the true global danger of ‘vaccine apartheid’

A banking crisis isn’t just bad for business, it can also poison politics | Torsten Bell

The failure of Germany’s second biggest bank in 1931 was a factor in the rise of the NazisFinancial crises are a really bad idea. We learned that in the UK with the 2008 banking crisis. It doubled our national debt and was followed by a decade of lost earnings growth. But banks going under contributes to grim politics, too.That’s the lesson from some economic and political history contained in new Bank for International Settlements’ research. It examines Germany’s 1931 banking crisis and the link to the rise of the Nazis. In July that year, the country’s second largest bank – Danatbank – failed, triggering a bank run, financial crisis and big income falls.Torsten Bell is chief ..

The Guardian > Economics A banking crisis isn’t just bad for business, it can also poison politics | Torsten Bell

Don’t be fooled by Australia’s GDP growth – buying more things is not a good measure of our welfare | Jessica Mizrahi

Using GDP to assess wellbeing is a flawed view which has led us to narrow, short-term decision-makingGross domestic product as a measure of welfare is like exam results as a measure of intelligence. Neither is especially good. However both are widely cited and heavily relied upon.Why? They’re not great – but they’re the best we’ve got. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Economics Don’t be fooled by Australia’s GDP growth – buying more things is not a good measure of our welfare | Jessica Mizrahi

Northern Ireland is huge in TV, but post-Brexit reality is far less glitzy

Northern Ireland faces economic problems similar to those of rest of the UK, with some extras all of its own. Now what it has achieved is threatened by a looming trade warBars are full, restaurants are turning away customers who don’t have reservations and, judging by the people laden with bags, the Christmas shopping season is already under way. Belfast has known plenty of crises down the decades but this doesn’t feel like one of them.Instead, on a Thursday evening in November, Northern Ireland’s capital has the air of any other big provincial UK city, with a thriving hospitality sector and plenty of money changing hands. Were it not for the accents, it could be Leeds or Manchester. C..

The Guardian > Economics Northern Ireland is huge in TV, but post-Brexit reality is far less glitzy

Black Friday: US shoppers see fewer ‘doorbuster’ deals amid market selloff

US retailers offer smaller price markdowns amid tight suppliesCovid variant triggers stock market selloff and investor anxietyBargain hunters ventured out in chilly weather on Black Friday, only to discover that many US retailers offered smaller price markdowns this year amid tight supplies.Covid fears and fewer “doorbuster” sales thinned crowds the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, which kicks off the year-end holiday shopping season. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Economics Black Friday: US shoppers see fewer ‘doorbuster’ deals amid market selloff

Democrats need to admit that inflation is real – or voters will turn on them | Andrew Gawthorpe

Inflation is an issue of real concern to many Americans. It’s also a chance for Democrats to name and shame price-gougersInflation is rapidly becoming a problem for the Democratic party and President Joe Biden. They need to get a grip on it before it imperils their wider agenda and sinks their chances of keeping control of Congress in the midterm elections next year. As they think about how to address it, one thing is certain: what they’ve been doing so far isn’t working. A recent poll found that two-thirds of Americans disapprove of how Biden is handling inflation, and the same number consider the issue “very important” in their evaluations of his presidency. Among those Americans..

The Guardian > Economics Democrats need to admit that inflation is real – or voters will turn on them | Andrew Gawthorpe

Shoppers go to town as UK rings in biggest-ever Black Friday sales day

Data from banks and card issuers suggests consumers on track to spend almost £9.2bn this weekendThe UK has rung up its biggest Black Friday sales day ever, data suggests, with shoppers spending more than one-fifth more than last year as the high street bounced back from pandemic lockdowns. The number of payments via Barclaycard, one of the UK’s biggest debit and credit card issuers, were up 23% between midnight and 5pm compared with the same period in 2020, when most of the UK high street was in lockdown, and was up 2.4% on 2019. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Economics Shoppers go to town as UK rings in biggest-ever Black Friday sales day

BoE chief economist hints at rate rise but new Covid variant fuels doubts

Analysts say prospect of interest rate rise has diminished despite Huw Pill’s address to a CBI conferenceThe Bank of England appears to have move a step closer towards increasing the cost of borrowing next month after its new chief economist, Huw Pill, said the UK’s recovery from the pandemic was strong enough for the central bank to take “policy action”, despite fears over the new Covid strain.Pill, a member of theBank’s nine-strong monetary policy committee (MPC), indicated he was preparing to vote in favour of an increase in interest rates on 16 December after official figures suggested concerns about a jump in unemployment at the end of the furlough scheme had proved unfounded...

The Guardian > Economics BoE chief economist hints at rate rise but new Covid variant fuels doubts

How world’s major economies are dealing with spectre of inflation

As demand returns since initial pandemic slump, central banks need to balance recovery and rising costs‘Wake up’: markets warn central banks to get a grip on inflationThe world’s major central banks are scratching their heads over how to deal with the rising cost of living. Raising interest rates now could deal a blow to the post-pandemic recovery. Wait too long, and inflation may spiral out of control. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Economics How world’s major economies are dealing with spectre of inflation

‘Wake up’: markets warn central banks to get a grip on inflation

Policymakers ‘behind the curve’ as calls grow for slow rises in interest rates and end to quantitative easingHow major economies are dealing with spectre of inflationFinancial markets fear the world’s leading central banks are risking “economic disaster” by misjudging the threat of rising inflation and not turning off the stimulus taps that have flooded the global economy with money.From the Federal Reserve to the European Central Bank, policymakers are grappling with a surge in prices not seen for decades while trying to keep wobbly economies on course to recovery from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Economics ‘Wake up’: markets warn central banks to get a grip on inflation

UK Christmas shoppers face biggest price rises since 1990; Covid hits German consumer confidence – as it happened

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial newsLatest: UK selling prices rise at the fastest pace since May 1990CBI: Supply chain worries prompted early Christmas shopping early.Crisps and painkillers top list of shortages in storesEarlier:Pound around lowest levels against US dollar this yearFed members ready to raise interest rates if inflation stays highGerman consumer sentiment hit by fourth Covid wave and inflationJP Morgan boss ‘regrets’ making joke about Chinese Communist partyThe UK government has begun to count the cost of Bulb Energy’s collapse as many begin to wonder whether it is a fair price to pay for policymakers’ failure to spot a looming market breakdown.M..

The Guardian > Economics UK Christmas shoppers face biggest price rises since 1990; Covid hits German consumer confidence – as it happened

UK factories struggle to meet record demand as supply issues continue

CBI snapshot finds firms running down stocks to meet order books and raising concerns about inflationBritain’s factories are struggling to meet the record demand for their goods as severe supply constraints put a brake on production lines, the latest snapshot of activity has shown.The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said manufacturers were running down their stocks of finished goods to meet the strongest order books since records began in 1977. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Economics UK factories struggle to meet record demand as supply issues continue

What is happening with inflation in the US, and how worried should you be?

Why prices are rising, how long this might last, and why inflation is a psychological as well as an economic phenomenonJobs are coming back, wages are rising, stock markets are hitting record highs. In many ways, the US economy is booming. And yet as we officially enter the holiday season, consumer confidence is at its lowest level in a decade. The reason? Inflation.The US inflation rate in October was the highest it has been since the early 90s, when Nirvana released Smells Like Teen Spirit and the Gulf war was just beginning. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Economics What is happening with inflation in the US, and how worried should you be?

New Zealand interest rate hike raises pressure on central banks over inflation

RBNZ says homeowners must be ‘incredibly wary’ of rising costs, as focus shifts to policymakers in US, UK and EuropeNew Zealand’s central bank has lifted interest rates for the second time in as many months to 0.75%, with many forecasters expecting borrowing costs to rise to at least 2% by next year and possibly higher.In a warning signal for central banks around the world as they struggle to contain inflationary pressures, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) raised the official cash rate by 25 basis points to 0.75% as expected in its final policy meeting of the year on Wednesday. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Economics New Zealand interest rate hike raises pressure on central banks over inflation

UK businesses pushed to raise prices amid record jump in costs

Analysts say reports of high demand and jobs growth could give green light for interest rate riseBritish companies came under intense pressure to push up prices this month after they suffered the fastest rise in the costs of production on record.Steep increases in the price of raw materials, higher fuel costs and strong wage demands in November combined to increase the average cost burden at the most rapid rate since 1998 when comparable records began. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Economics UK businesses pushed to raise prices amid record jump in costs

House committee subpoenas far-right groups and leaders over Capitol attack – live

Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and 1st Amendment Praetorian get subpoenasProud Boys leader denied early release from Washington DC jailPresident touts effort to lower gas prices as inflation hits 31-year highBiden to release 50m barrels of oil in effort to bring down US gas pricesSign up to receive First Thing – our daily briefing by emailIn case you missed it yesterday: the House select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection issued five more subpoenas to right-wing political operatives, including former Trump associate Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.Hugo Lowell reports:The subpoenas demanding documents and testimony expand the select committee’s inquiry focused on th..

The Guardian > Economics House committee subpoenas far-right groups and leaders over Capitol attack – live

AO World boss may have overheated his electrical appliance targets

Noble it may have been, but AO’s plans to offer all staff good bonuses hinged on dreamily optimistic salesAbout 15 months ago John Roberts, the founder, 23%-owner and chief executive of the online electricals retailer AO World, did a fine thing. He created an all-staff incentive scheme that is very different from other companies’ executive-only affairs. It was, he said in his folksy way, one he’d be “proud to tell my mum about”.Senior executives at AO would still shoot for multimillion-pound rewards (capped at £20m) but lower-paid workers would chase meaningful sums rather than “a round of drinks”. There was talk of AO’s warehouse workers, on £18,000-£20,000 a year, being ..

The Guardian > Economics AO World boss may have overheated his electrical appliance targets

Central banks have ‘King Canute’ theory of inflation, says former governor

Mervyn King questions theory that ‘inflation will remain low because we say it will’Central bankers have been caught unawares by rising prices that have exposed their “King Canute” theory of inflation, the former governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King has said.In a strong attack on how policymakers around the world have reacted to the Covid-19 crisis, Lord King accused them of relying too heavily on models that showed inflation always coming back to its target whatever the level of interest rates. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Economics Central banks have ‘King Canute’ theory of inflation, says former governor

Turkish lira tumbles; pandemic worries hit European markets – as it happened

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial newsLatest: Turkish lira slumps to record lowSelloff sends lira though 13/$1 for first timeErdoğan insists country will focus on growth, employment and exportsEarlier:US releases 50m barrels of oil in effort to cool pricesAstraZeneca CEO: No regrets on Covid-19 vaccineEuropean markets hit three-week low on lockdown worriesAO World warns of product shortages, rising price and shipping costsEurope’s Covid-19 surge has pushed confidence among European businesses down to its lowest level since January.The latest survey of purchasing managers from across the eurozone shows that expectations have fallen this month, to a ten-month low.“Not ..

The Guardian > Economics Turkish lira tumbles; pandemic worries hit European markets – as it happened

Less cash to splash: despite the spin, there’s nothing transient about inflation | Satyajit Das

With debt rising and prices spiralling up, households are going to find it harder to fork out for the necessities, let alone any luxuries, and politicians are worriedHouseholds now face a reduction in spending power, unless after-tax wage increases match accelerating price rises.In Australia, the September 2021 quarter consumer price index rose 0.8%, or 3% over the year. In the US, the corresponding measure has reached 6.2%, the highest in nearly 30 years. Official figures probably understate the true extent of cost-of-living increases. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Economics Less cash to splash: despite the spin, there’s nothing transient about inflation | Satyajit Das

UK workforce shrinks after sharp rise in people choosing to leave work

Resolution Foundation says more than half a million more people are now economically inactive The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has made Britain’s workforce smaller, younger and more female after a sharp rise in people leaving work during lockdown, according to a report.The Resolution Foundation said that while mass unemployment had been avoided during the Covid-19 emergency, there had been an increase in people who had exited the workforce and were no longer looking for a job. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Economics UK workforce shrinks after sharp rise in people choosing to leave work

Police should come armed with face masks | Brief letters

Mask wearing | Ancient Christmas puddings | Lobsters | Wordsearch | Ole Gunnar SolskjærAt my local garage, three police officers were buying coffee recently. None wearing masks. Do police personnel routinely take lateral flow tests? Is it controversial to say that when people don’t wear masks, other people unnecessarily get hospitalised and some die? Or to say that when people in authority don’t wear masks, others think, “Why should I?” Daily cases on Sunday: 40,004.James BanceRuislip, London• Re the oldest Christmas puddings (Letters, 19 November), might I mention a visit to the Wagner museum in Lucerne, Switzerland. After gazing reverently at an unidentifiable bla..

The Guardian > Economics Police should come armed with face masks | Brief letters

Energy supplier Bulb to enter special administration; pandemic hits eurozone consumer confidence – as it happened

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial newsPandemic hits eurozone consumer confidenceFull Story: Bulb Energy, which supplies 1.7m customers, collapses into administrationBreaking: Bulb becomes biggest UK supplier to collapse in energy crisisBulb: We’re planning to enter special administration1.7m customers affected – company says supplies will continueUswitch: price cap pushed Bulb underMore than 20 suppliers have failed since start of SeptemberShares in Marks & Spencer have jumped to their highest in two and a half years on reports that New York-based Apollo Global Management had mulled a buyout.The Sunday Times reported that the US private equity giant has been “ru..

The Guardian > Economics Energy supplier Bulb to enter special administration; pandemic hits eurozone consumer confidence – as it happened

Jerome Powell nominated for second term as chair of US Federal Reserve

White House praises Republican’s ‘steady leadership’ of central bank during Covid pandemicJerome Powell’s handling of the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic has won the chair of the Federal Reserve the backing of the White House for a second term running the world’s most important central bank.Despite speculation that he might sack Donald Trump’s appointee, Joe Biden cited the “decisive action” taken by Powell during the early stages of the crisis as a reason to reappoint the 68-year-old Republican for another four years. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Economics Jerome Powell nominated for second term as chair of US Federal Reserve

Yes, there will be enough turkeys for Thanksgiving – at a price

The average cost of a bird is up 24% but fears of shortages appear overblownHemlock Hill Farm, a 120-acre organic farm near Cortlandt, New York, has been in the same family since 1939. As they prepare their turkeys for this Thursday’s Thanksgiving celebrations, farmer Trish Vasta says they are facing a strange holiday season for the second year in a row.Last week the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) warned that costs of the traditional turkey feast has risen 14% over the past year. The cost increase, up from an average of $46.90 for a family group of 10 last year to $53.31 in 2021, works out at $6 a person. Continue reading...

The Guardian > Economics Yes, there will be enough turkeys for Thanksgiving – at a price