WTO Economists Forecast Gloomy 2023 World Trade

The World Trade Organization predicts global trade growth will slow sharply to 1 percent in 2023, down from the expected high of 3.5 percent this year. 

WTO economists say trade has played a key role in keeping the global economy running throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. While merchandise trade plunged amid lockdowns in 2020, they note it subsequently rebounded, keeping the world supplied with food, medicine and other essential goods. 

However, they say multipronged crises, including the pandemic, climate shocks and the war in Ukraine, continue to cause supply chain disruptions. Fiscal and monetary policies and inflationary pressures, they note, are causing energy and commodity prices to rise. They say low-income developing countries in particular face serious risks from insecurity and debt distress. 

WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala says most regions will likely register slightly positive export growth in 2023, with the exceptions of Africa and the Middle East. She expects both regions to experience negative export growth. World GDP next year is expected to slow to 2.3 percent, she says, down nearly a full percentage point from the WTO’s previous estimate. 

“Policymakers face unenviable choices as they attempt to find an optimal balance among fighting inflation, maintaining employment and advancing important policy goals such as the transition to cleaner energy,” Okonjo-Iweala said. “Trade restrictions may be a tempting response to economic distress, but these would only deepen inflationary pressures and reduce living standards.” 

Okonjo-Iweala says free trade generates growth and can help keep prices from rising. For example, keeping markets open for food trade, she says, will increase the availability of essential foodstuffs and maintain downward pressure on prices. 

“Our monitoring work on food trade has pointed to some recent backsliding on restrictions, so we need to remain vigilant,” Okonjo-Iweala said. “Looking ahead, a better response to the supply chain vulnerabilities exposed by the past two years is to build a more diversified, less concentrated base for producing goods and services.” 

Diversification will boost economic growth and contribute to supply resilience and long-term price stability, she says, adding it also can help meet current and future economic challenges. 

 

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У Британії почались навчання з базового рівня молодших командирів ЗСУ – посольство

Очікується, що після завершення навчання військовослужбовців буде призначено на посади командирів відділень в підрозділи різних родів військ

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Supreme Court Takes Up Key Voting Rights Case From Alabama

The Supreme Court is taking up an Alabama redistricting case that could have far-reaching effects on minority voting power across the United States. 

The justices are hearing arguments Tuesday in the latest high-court showdown over the federal Voting Rights Act, lawsuits seeking to force Alabama to create a second Black majority congressional district. About 27% of Alabamians are Black, but they form a majority in just one of the state’s seven congressional districts. 

The court’s conservatives, in a 5-4 vote in February, blocked a lower court ruling that would have required a second Black majority district in time for the 2022 midterm elections. 

A similar ruling to create an additional Black majority district in Louisiana also was put on hold. 

Conservative high-court majorities have made it harder for racial minorities to use the Voting Rights Act in ideologically divided rulings in 2013 and 2021. A ruling for the state in the new case could weaken another powerful tool civil rights groups and minority voters have used to challenge racial discrimination in redistricting. 

The case also has an overlay of partisan politics. Republicans who dominate elective office in Alabama have been resistant to creating a second district with a Democratic-leaning Black majority that could send another Democrat to Congress. 

Two appointees of President Donald Trump were on the three-judge panel that unanimously held that Alabama likely violated the landmark 1965 law by diluting Black voting strength. 

The judges found that Alabama has concentrated Black voters in one district, while spreading them out among the others to make it impossible for them to elect a candidate of their choice. 

Alabama’s Black population is large enough and geographically compact enough to create a second district, the judges found. 

The state argues that the lower court ruling would force it to sort voters by race, insisting that it is taking a “race neutral” approach to redistricting. 

That argument could resonate with conservative justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts. He has opposed most consideration of race in voting both as a justice and in his time as a lawyer in Republican presidential administrations. 

Tuesday’s arguments are the first Supreme Court case involving race for Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black female justice. 

A challenge to affirmative action in college admissions is set for arguments on October 31.

 

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Гайдай анонсував евакуацію жителів із Луганщини: щоб «не постраждати при контрнаступі»

Він також додав, що російські війська готуються до оборони, мінують територію Луганщини, «масової втечі серед рашистів немає»

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За минулу добу через обстріли РФ у Красногорівці одна людина загинула, у Нікополі – 4 постраждалих

Російські війська постійно завдають авіаударів по ключових об’єктах військової, цивільної та критичної інфраструктури

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СБУ: угруповання «ДНР» на псевдореферендумі сфальсифікувало присутність іноземних спостерігачів

Російські сили намагалися штучно збільшити присутність іноземних «гостей» на псевдореферендумі і «легітимізувати» його на міжнародній арені, кажуть в СБУ

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У Генштабі розповіли про «цікаве рішення» Росії для виграшу часу на підготовку мобілізованих

Протягом доби українські війська відбили атаки армії РФ у районах Майорська, Нью-Йорка, Зайцевого, Невельського та Побєди

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UN Report: Fiscal Policies of Advanced Economies Risk Global Recession

U.N. economists warn the monetary and fiscal policies of advanced economies risk plunging the world into a recession worse than the financial crisis of 2008. UNCTAD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has issued its annual Trade and Development Report 2022.

The authors of the report warn the world is teetering on the edge of a recession due to bad policy decisions by advanced economies, combined with cascading crises resulting from climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine.

They project this year’s global growth rate of 2.5 percent will slow to 2.2 percent in 2023. This, they say, will leave a cumulative shortfall of more than $17 trillion, close to 20 percent of the world’s income.

The report finds the slowdown is hitting countries in all regions, especially developing countries. It says growth rates in the poorer countries are expected to drop below three percent, damaging development and employment prospects.

UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan says middle-income countries in Latin America, as well as low-income countries in Africa, will register some of the sharpest slowdowns this year.

“In Africa, an additional 58 million people will fall into extreme poverty in 2022 adding to the 55 million already pushed into extreme poverty by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Grynspan said.

Grynspan says developing countries are facing alarming levels of debt distress and under investment. She says 46 developing countries are severely exposed to multiple economic shocks. She adds another 48 countries are seriously exposed, heightening the threat of a global debt crisis.

“So, countries that were showing signs of debt distress before COVID are taking some of the biggest hits, with climate shocks further threatening economic stability,” Grynspan said. “This is increasing the threat of a global debt crisis. So, countries urgently need real debt relief.”

Grynspan says there is still time to step back from the edge of recession if countries use available tools to calm inflation and support vulnerable groups.

Among its recommendations, UNCTAD urges a more pragmatic strategy that deploys strategic price controls, windfall taxes, anti-trust measures and tighter regulations on commodities speculation.

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Коронавірус: влада Києва просить містян повернутися до носіння масок у публічних місцях

За даними КМДА, кількість хворих різко зростає: протягом тижня з 26 вересня до 2 жовтня у Києві виявили 2 515 випадків COVID-19

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