Selected Important News of the past weeks (Part 2)

Cotton

ICAC – Review of the World Situation’ Provides a Comprehensive Overview of the Global Cotton Industry

Highlights from the March 2021 issue of the ‘Review’ include:

•            Updates from several of the world’s top cotton-producing countries

•            A summary of the outlook for the global cotton industry

•            Expert outlooks for India, China, USA, Brazil and Pakistan

•            Six pages of tables highlighting the supply, distribution and use of cotton from recent seasons

One of the many devastating impacts of the COVID pandemic was the general breakdown of communication as the entire global cotton supply chain ground to a halt. But now that vaccines are making their way around the world and commercial activity is picking up, cotton and textile professionals need to update themselves on the current situations in major cotton producing countries.

Fortunately, the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) has just released the March 2021 issue of ‘Cotton: Review of the World Situation’, which is packed with 30+ pages of information authored by a number of experts from around the world. Detailed updates and outlooks are provided for:

•            The global cotton industry

•            India

•            China

•            The USA

•            Brazil

•            Pakistan

Also included are tables showing the supply and distribution of cotton from 2015-2021, as well as supply and use of cotton by country for 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21.

To subscribe to ‘Cotton: Review of the World Situation, please click here and select Paid Publications.

Formed in 1939, the ICAC is an association of cotton producing, consuming and trading countries. It acts as a catalyst for change by helping member countries maintain a healthy world cotton economy; provides transparency to the world cotton market by serving as a clearinghouse for technical information on cotton production; and serves as a forum for discussing cotton issues of international significance. The ICAC does not have a role in setting market prices or in intervening in market mechanisms.

www.icac.org.

Data

Global Economy 2021: Prospects and Challenges

By guest author Geoffrey Okamoto, First Deputy Managing Director, IMF
China Development Forum (session V venue I)

Dear Director-General Yu, thank you very much for inviting me to speak at this year’s China Development Forum. The topic of the country’s role in the “New Journey of Modernization” is an important one for the world.

Let me start with the outlook for the global economy and for China and highlight key policy priorities for the period ahead.

Global Outlook

In January, we projected 2021 global growth at 5.5 percent, but prospects of a stronger recovery are emerging – because of additional fiscal stimulus, especially in the U.S., and the prospects of broader vaccination.

We will update our global forecasts in the new World Economic Outlook coming out in early April.

However, the global recovery has been incomplete and unequal.

It is incomplete becausedespite a stronger than expected recovery in the second half of 2020, GDP remains well below pre-pandemic trends in most countries.

The recovery paths have also been different across countries, as well as across sectors.

China , in many ways, has already completed its recovery, returning to its pre-pandemic growth levels ahead of all large economies. But growth still lacks balance, with private consumption lagging investment. We expect consumption will catch up, as investment growth normalizes. But there are significant risks which I will describe momentarily.

Growing gap

Outside of China, though, there are worrying signs that the gap between advanced economies and emerging markets is growing.

We project that cumulative income per capita in emerging and developing countries, excluding China, between 2020 and 2022 will be 22 percent lower than what it would have been without the pandemic.

That will translate into close to 90 million people falling below the extreme poverty threshold since the pandemic started.

China has been a bright spot in its continued fight against poverty, but even there the pandemic has hurt vulnerable people the most.

Exceptional Uncertainty

As I said, uncertainty about the recovery is exceptionally large.

We don’t know how prolonged the health crisis will beAccess to vaccines remains very uneven, both across advanced and emerging economies.

Low-income countries might not see significant vaccination well into 2022, and that is a problem: this pandemic will only really be over when it is over for everyone.

Another risk is the spread of resistant mutations that threatens to reduce the efficacy of current vaccines and could undermine or delay the recovery.

Besides these bigger issues, there are also uncertainties about the effectiveness of policy actions and differences in what countries can do. Some countries face limited fiscal space and higher debts. While China still has some room for maneuver, many others, especially low-income countries, do not.

Tighter financial conditions could exacerbate vulnerabilities in countries with high public and private debt. We have seen recent increases in bond yields as the growth outlook of some advanced economies improves, leading markets to expect an earlier withdrawal of monetary stimulus.

In the medium-term, the crisis could leave deep scars. In the past, advanced economies have seen their output reduced almost 5 percent below pre-recession trends five years after the beginning of a recession. It could be worse in countries that cannot afford a strong macroeconomic response and/or have large services sectors more affected by the pandemic. Everywhere, the crisis has had a disproportionate impact on the young, the low-skilled, and women.

In the long-term , rising carbon emission levels remind us that climate change is also a significant challenge, and Asia has a major role in addressing it.

The way forward

These challenges are daunting, but they can be overcome with concerted actions by all countries. Let me highlight three priorities.

First, end the pandemic swiftly. The international community must swiftly ramp up vaccine production. We must ensure that low-income countries have the financing to procure and distribute vaccines. This requires bolstering funding for the COVAX initiative and the logistics for delivery.

On this front, we ask that leading economies support vaccine production and provide finance to developing countries.

Second, countries should maintain economic support and calibrate it to the stage of their recovery and the pandemic. Where the pandemic continues, the priority is to protect lives and livelihoods. As it wanes, support should become more targeted, focusing on mitigating scarring, supporting the reallocation of resources, and ensuring that the post-pandemic economy is an inclusive and sustainable one.

The best policies will be those that support the recovery, help strengthen resilience, and tackle long-standing challenges. For example, foster the transition to green energy and digitalization.

In China, the policies announced during the “Two Sessions” meetings to strengthen high-quality growth, rein in carbon emissions, and improve energy efficiency should support China’s quest to rebalance its growth model towards greener and more consumption-oriented growth.

Achieving faster and higher-quality growth requires mutually enhancing reforms: strengthening social safety nets and green investment; opening up of domestic markets; continuing to reform state companies; and ensuring that private and government-owned firms can compete on an equal basis. A strong effort in this direction will raise productivity and income, and lead to more balanced and consumption-driven growth.

Third, we must mitigate divergence across countries. This includes providing access to liquidity for developing economies and preventing climate change from hampering their economic growth and convergence.

IMF support

We at the IMF have been active as never before in supporting our membership. We have expanded concessional financing and provided debt relief to many of our poorest members.

new SDR allocation is under consideration to help address the global long-term need for reserves.

We have also worked with the G20 on bilateral debt service relief through the Debt Service Suspension Initiative and on a Common Framework to address unsustainable sovereign debt.

Lastly, we are incorporating climate change into our country and financial risk assessments, while scaling up capacity development.

We appreciate China’s continuing support to all these endeavors.

Let me conclude by saying that the international community must come together and help each other to end this pandemic and lay the foundation for a more balanced, inclusive, and sustained global recovery for all.

Thank you very much!

The remarks can be found in the following link: https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2021/03/20/sp-global-economy-2021-prospects-and-challenges

http://www,itmf.org

Swiss Forecast: rapid recovery following the gradual easing of coronavirus measures

Economic forecast by the Federal Government’s Expert Group – March 2021. The Expert Group largely confirms its previous assessment. GDP is set to decrease in the first quarter of this year, but the easing of coronavirus measures should subsequently lead to a rapid recovery. Uncertainty remains extremely high.

The tightening of measures to contain the spread of the virus have been heavily impacting the affected sectors since late 2020. This has led to a collapse in business activity in parts of the service sector. The Expert Group therefore assumes that Switzerland’s GDP will fall significantly in the first quarter of this year. However, a collapse of a similar magnitude to last spring so far seems unlikely.

Should the epidemiological development allow the gradual easing of coronavirus measures as intended, the domestic economy should recover very quickly. Various consumer opportunities that were largely unavailable in the winter months would reemerge and lead to turnover rising again in the affected sectors. At the same time, growing global demand is set to boost exports. The utilisation of production capacities will increase accordingly, which in turn will have a positive impact on investment activity within Switzerland. Overall, the Expert Group expects growth in GDP adjusted for sporting events of 3.0 % in 2021 (unchanged forecast). This would see the Swiss economy grow at an above-average rate by historical standards, and the pre-crisis GDP level being exceeded by late 2021. Unemployment is predicted to fall gradually and reach an annual average of 3.3 % for 2021 (unchanged forecast).

This forecast is based on the expectation that the planned easing of measures from spring 2021 onwards will largely be implemented as intended, and that any tightening of virus containment measures involving significant economic impacts will no longer be necessary.

Assuming these conditions are met, the economic recovery should also become more wide-spread as time goes on. Particularly vulnerable areas of the economy, such as international tourism, should also gradually find their way out of the current crisis. For 2022, the Expert Group therefore predicts an above-average growth in GDP adjusted for sporting events of 3.3 %. The international environment has become more favourable since last December’s forecast (3.1 %), which will also benefit the Swiss export sector. Employment is expected to rise considerably as the economy recovers, and unemployment is set to fall to an annual average of 3.0% (unchanged forecast).

Economic risks

The most significant uncertainties are those linked to the coronavirus pandemic, the possible responses of economic players and politicians to the situation, and second-round economic effects.

The recovery would be noticeably delayed if in the coming months further strict containment measures were to be introduced domestically and by key trade partners, for example due to backlogs in the coronavirus vaccination programmes.

We also cannot exclude the possibility that the pandemic will continue to affect economic development into 2022, such as through the spread of coronavirus mutations against which the existing vaccines are less effective. There could also be stronger economic second-round effects than assumed in the Expert Group’s forecast, such as large-scale job cuts and a high number of corporate insolvencies. The risks linked to government and company debt would also grow.

However, the coronavirus situation could also develop more favourably than expected internationally, particularly due to rapid progress in the vaccination programmes. Should this happen, the economic recovery could prove to be stronger over the course of 2021 than the Expert Group’s forecast predicts, particularly due to stronger catch-up effects in private consumer spending.

There are also risks to the world economy due to international trade conflict. There is still a certain amount of uncertainty with regard to the relationship between Switzerland and the EU in connection with the institutional agreement. Finally, there is still a risk of more major corrections in the Swiss real estate sector.

Note:

Because of the great uncertainty the SECO completes the economic forecast of the Expert Group with three updated economic scenarios. They are to be found in the economic forecast section of the latest edition of « Konjunkturtendenzen » (in German) at

www.seco.admin.ch/economic-forecasts

G20 GDP continues to grow in the fourth quarter of 2020, although at a slower pace, says OECD

Growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the G20 area slowed to 2.1 % in the fourth quarter of 2020, down from the large rebound in the previous quarter (7.8 %) that followed the unprecedented falls in the first half of the year due to COVID-19 containment measures.

Among the G20 economies, India continued to record the highest growth (7.9 %) in the fourth quarter, following a growth of 23.7 % in the previous quarter. In most other economies, GDP growth, although lower than in the third quarter, remained positive: Mexico (3.3 %), Brazil (3.2 %), Australia (3.1 %), Indonesia (2.9 %), Japan and Saudi Arabia (2.8 % in both countries), China (2.6 %), Canada (2.3 %), Turkey (1.7 %), South Africa (1.5 %), Korea (1.2 %), United Kingdom and United States (1.0 % in both countries) and Germany (0.3 %). On the other hand, GDP contracted in Italy and France (by minus 1.9 % and minus 1.4 %, respectively), after strong rebounds in the previous quarter (15.9 % and 18.5 %, respectively).

For 2020 as a whole, GDP fell by (minus) 3.3% in the G20 area, with only China and Turkey recording  growth  (of 2.3% and 1.8%, respectively), while the United Kingdom experienced the largest fall (minus 9.9%).

www.oecd.org

January 2021 compared with December 2020 Industrial production up by 0.8 % in Euro Area and by 0.7 % in the EU

Up by 0.1 % and 0.3 % compared with January 2020

In January 2021, the seasonally adjusted industrial production rose by 0.8 % in the Euro Area and by 0.7 % in the EU, compared with December 2020, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In December 2020, industrial production fell by 0.1 % in the Euro Area, and remained stable in the EU.

In January 2021 compared with January 2020, industrial production increased by 0.1 % in the Euro Area and by 0.3 % in the EU.

Monthly comparison by main industrial grouping and by Member State

In the euro area in January 2021, compared with December 2020, production of durable consumer goods rose by 0.8 %, non-durable consumer goods by 0.6 %, energy and capital goods by 0.4 % and intermediate goods by 0.3 %.

In the EU, production of non-durable consumer goods rose by 0.8 %, energy and capital goods by 0.6 % and intermediate and durable consumer goods by  0.4 %.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases were registered in Luxembourg (+3.8 %), Greece and France (both +3.4 %) and Belgium (+3.1 %). The largest decreases were observed in Estonia and Latvia (both -1.5 %), Portugal (-1.3 %) and Spain (-0.7 %).

Annual comparison by main industrial grouping and by Member State

In the Euro Area in January 2021, compared with January 2020, production of intermediate goods rose by 1.8 %, durable consumer goods by 1.6 %, capital goods by 0.9 % and energy by 0.4%, while production of non-durable consumer goods fell by 3.9%.

In the EU, production of durable consumer goods rose by 3.0%, intermediate goods by 2.2% and capital goods by 0.9%, while production of energy fell by 0.5% and non-durable consumer goods by 3.2%.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases were registered in Ireland (+27.5 %), Lithuania (+11.8 %) and Poland (+5.6 %). The largest decreases were observed in Portugal (-6.5 %), Malta (-6.2 %) and Slovakia (-4.0 %).

Geographical information

The euro area (EA19) includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.

The European Union (EU27) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden.

Methods and definitions

The index of industrial production measures the evolution of the volume of production for industry excluding construction, based on data adjusted for calendar and seasonal effects.

Seasonally adjusted euro area and EU series are calculated by aggregating the seasonally adjusted national data.

Total industry covers NACE rev.2 sections B to D. Missing observations from Member States for recent months are estimated for the calculation of the Euro Area and the EU aggregates.

www.ec.europa.eu/eurostat/

WTO-Barometer points to services trade rebound in short run, long term outlook less clear

After falling sharply during the global pandemic, world services trade appears to be in a recovery phase, according to the WTO’s Services Trade Barometer, which has recently risen firmly above trend. However, continued weakness in some sectors and an uneven distribution of COVID-19 vaccines cast some doubt on the durability of the recovery.

WTO eco metre

The services trade barometer is designed to highlight turning points and changing patterns in world services trade. The latest index reading of 104.7 is the strongest on record (in a series going back to 2000), well above the baseline value of 100 that denotes growth in line with recent trends. The new index reading is also significantly above the low point of 91.2 for the month of  March 2020, at the peak of lockdown measures associated with the pandemic. The strength of the rebound suggests that growth in world services trade accelerated in the fourth quarter of 2020 after bottoming out in the second quarter and picking up only slightly in the third. Momentum may not be sustained in the first quarter of 2021, however, as lockdown measures in response to the second wave of COVID-19 infections have continued to weigh on growth and employment in major economies since the start of the year.

The impact of the second wave is reflected in the barometer’s component indices: persistent weakness in air transport (81.0) and a downturn in information and communications technology (ICT) services (93.7). International passenger flights, which will probably remain weak at least into the second quarter, could see a partial recovery in the third quarter if governments succeed in vaccinating large numbers of people against COVID-19; however, the spread of new variants could lead to new setbacks. The dip in the ICT index may also turn out to be temporary, as it appears to have been driven by stricter lockdowns in the US weighing on some computer services, while telecom services have remained steady.

In contrast, other component indices have all risen above trend, including the global services Purchasing Managers’ Index (105.3), container shipping (104.3) and construction (106.3). The financial services index (119.9) had an especially strong showing, reflecting a rise in international financial transactions.

Unlike its counterpart for goods, fluctuations in the Services Trade Barometer tend to coincide with movements in actual trade flows rather than anticipating them. Readings of 100 indicate growth in line with medium-term trends. Readings greater than 100 suggest above-trend growth while those below 100 indicate the opposite.

The full Services Trade Barometer is available here.

Further details on the methodology are contained in the technical note here.

www.wto.org

January 2021 compared with December 2020 Volume of retail trade down by 5.9 % in Euro Area and by 5.1 % in the EU

Down by 6.4 % and 5.4 % compared with January 2020

In January 2021, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade fell by 5.9 % in the Euro Area,  and by 5.1 % in the EU, compared with December 2020, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In December 2020, the retail trade volume rose by 1.8 % in the Euro Area and by 1.4 % in the EU.

In January 2021 compared with January 2020, the calendar adjusted volume of retail trade decreased by 6.4 % in the Euro Area and by 5.4 % in the EU.

Monthly comparison by retail sector and by Member State

In the euro area in January 2021, compared with December 2020, the volume of retail trade decreased by 12.0 % for non-food products and by 1.1 % for automotive fuels, while it increased by 1.1 % for food, drinks and tobacco. In the EU the volume of retail trade decreased by 9.9 % for non-food products and by 0.3 % for automotive fuels, while it increased by 1.0 % for food, drinks and tobacco.

Among Member States for which data are available, the largest decreases in total retail trade were registered in Austria (-16.6 %), Ireland (-15.7 %) and Slovakia (-11.1 %). The highest increases were observed in Sweden (+3.5 %), Bulgaria (+1.8 %) and Estonia (+1.7 %).

Annual comparison by retail sector and by Member State

In the Euro Area in January 2021, compared with January 2020, the volume of retail trade decreased by 18.3 % for automotive fuels and by 13.6 % for non-food products (within this category mail orders and internet increased by 39.1 %), while it increased by 5.9 % for food, drinks and tobacco. In the EU, the volume of retail trade decreased by 15.7 % for automotive fuels and by 11.5 % for non-food products (mail orders and internet increased by 40.0 %), while it increased by 5.4 % for food, drinks and tobacco.

Among Member States for which data are available, the largest decreases in total retail trade volume were registered in Austria and Slovakia (both -16.8 %), Slovenia (-13.0 %) and Portugal (-10.9 %). The highest increases were observed in Estonia (+8.0 %), Belgium (+4.2 %) and Finland (+3.8 %).

Geographical information

The Euro Area (EA19) includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.

The European Union (EU27) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden.

Methods and definitions

The index of the volume of retail trade measures the evolution of the turnover in retail trade, adjusted for price changes (deflated), i.e. the evolution of the total amount of goods sold, based on data adjusted for calendar and seasonal effects.

Seasonal adjustment is a statistical method for removing the effects of recurring seasonal influences, which have been observed in the past from an economic time series, thus showing non-seasonal trends more clearly. Calendar adjustment is a statistical method for removing the variation caused by the changing number of particular weekdays or holidays in different months or other time periods (quarters, years). The annual comparisons are based on data adjusted for calendar effects only.

Seasonally adjusted euro area and EU series are calculated by aggregating the seasonally adjusted national data. Eurostat carries out the seasonal adjustment of the data for those countries that do not adjust their data for seasonal effects.

Missing observations from Member States for recent months are estimated for the calculation of the euro area and the EU aggregates.

www.ec.europa.eu/eurostat/

January 2021 Euro Area unemployment at 8.1 %, EU at 7.3 %

In January 2021, the euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 8.1%, stable compared with December 2020 and up from 7.4 % in January 2020. The EU unemploymen t rate was 7.3 % in January 2021, also stable compared with December 2020 and up from 6.6 % in January 2020. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Eurostat estimates that 15663 million men and women in the EU, of whom 13282 million in the Euro Area, were unemployed in January 2021. Compared with December 2020, the number of persons unemployed increased by 29 000 in the EU and by 8 000 in the Euro Area. Compared with January 2020, unemployment rose by 1465 million in the EU and by 1010 million in the Euro Area.

Youth Employment

In January 2021, 2.929 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU, of whom 2.356 million were in the Euro Area. In January 2021, the youth unemployment rate was 16.9 % in the EU and 17.1 % in the Euro Area, compared with 16.9 % and 17.2 % respectively in the previous month. Compared with December 2020, youth unemployment increased by 3000 in the EU and decreased by 15000 in the Euro Area. Compared with January 2020, youth unemployment increased by 184000 in the EU and by 89000 in the Euro Area.

Unemployment by gender

In January 2021, the unemployment rate for women was 7.7 % in the EU, stable compared with December 2020. The unemployment rate for men was 7.0 % in January 2021, also stable compared with December 2020. In the Euro Area, the unemployment rate for women remained stable at 8.6 % in January 2021 and the unemployment rate for men remained stable at 7.7 %.

Additional labour market indicators

These estimates are based on the globally used International Labour Organisation standard definition of unemployment, which counts as unemployed people without a job who have been actively seeking work in the last four weeks and are available to start work within the next two weeks. The COVID-19 outbreak and the measures applied to combat it have triggered a sharp increase in the number of claims for unemployment benefits across the EU. At the same time, a significant part of those who had registered in unemployment agencies were no longer actively looking for a job or no longer available for work, for instance, if they had to take care of their children. This leads to discrepancies in the number of registered unemployed and those measured as unemployed according to the ILO definition.

To capture in full the unprecedented labour market situation triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak, the data on unemployment have been complemented by additional indicators, e.g. underemployed part-time workers, persons seeking work but not immediately available and persons available to work but not seeking, released together with LFS data for the third quarter of 2020.

www.ec.europa.eu/eurostat/

McKinsey’s Week in Charts

Black actors get fewer chances to break out

Emerging Black actors get an average of six leading roles in the first decade of their career, compared with their white counterparts’

To read the article, see “Black representation in film and TV: The challenges and impact of increasing diversity,” March 11, 2021.

Every which way – Companies exploit all four avenues of growth

The end of the COVID-19 crisis feels tantalisingly close, in some countries. But will companies be ready to shift into high gear? Our research shows that in recent years, the fastest growing companies have expanded in every direction.

To read the podcast transcript, see “In conversation: The COVID-Exit,” March 9, 2021.

Online learning gets failing grades from teachers across the globe

We asked over 2500 teachers to rank the effectiveness of remote learning on a scale of one to ten—with one being least effective—and the average score was 4.8. Compared to their peers, teachers in Japan and the US rated online learning as much less effective than in-person instruction.

To read the article, see “Teacher survey: Learning loss is global—and significant,” March 1, 2021

For the fashion industry and fashionistas everywhere, less is the new more

To avoid excessive inventories and widespread markdowns—and in response to consumers’ shifting preferences to longer-lasting, sustainably produced goods—fashion companies are reducing the number of SKUs and implementing more agile supply chains.

To read the article, see “Five charts that set the tone as New York Fashion Week 2021 kicks off,” February 12, 2021.

What do electric-car buyers really want?

Not leather seats or the usual bells and whistles. Instead, they’re very interested in low-emissions manufacturing and end-of-life recycling.

To read the article, see “Mobility investments in the next normal,” March 4, 2021.

In corporate America, Black senior leadership remains scarce

Although Black employees comprise 14 % of all US employees, the Black workforce at the managerial level is just half of that: 7 %. At senior-manager levels—vice president and senior vice president—it declines further, to 5 and 4 %, respectively.

To read the report, seeRace in the workplace: The Black experience in the US private sector, February 21, 2021.

Jobs aren’t what they used to be

Full-time middle-income jobs are disappearing. High- and low-income jobs are on the rise. #America2021

To read the article, see “America 2021: Rebuilding lives and livelihoods after COVID-19,” February 16, 2021.

In 2020, COVID-19 deaths were 8 times greater than a typical flu season

To read the article, see “America 2021: Building a bridge to normalcy,” February 15, 2021.

Great migrations: How economic mobility can ease racial inequity

America’s leaders can reduce workforce inequities by helping people of colour get to where the jobs are. Ten growth hubs hold the highest potential for Black workers. #America2021

To read the article, see “America 2021: The opportunity to advance racial equity,” February 17, 2021

Mind over matter: How America developed its vaccines in record time

When government and the private sector fully exploit their distinct resources and capabilities, breakthrough innovation is possible. Operation Warp Speed delivered a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in about ten months. #America2021

To read the article, see “America 2021: Building a bridge to normalcy,” February 15, 2021.

How e-commerce share of retail soared across the globe: A look at eight countries

Online retail has been growing consistently. But in 2020, consumers went all in; in the United Kingdom, for example, e-commerce growth leapt nearly fivefold. Other countries also saw large gains.

To read the report, seeThe future of work after COVID-19, February 18, 2021.

www.mckinsey.com

Publication of «Swiss Public Finances 2020»

The statistical data on public finances for 2020 has been published. The brochure issued by the Federal Finance Administration (FFA) provides at a glance information on the budgets of the Confederation, cantons, communes and social insurance, as well as an international comparison.

The statistical data is divided into three sections:

  • Federal level (without separate accounts)
  • General government level (Confederation including separate accounts, cantons, communes and social insurance)
  • International comparison

The publication is available in English, French, German and Italian, and can be obtained free of charge from the FOBL under article number 601.002. The electronic version, a link to the FOBL shop as well as additional information can be found at: www.efv.admin.ch/taschenstatistik

www.admin.ch