food security: Analysis of the global economy: export limits worsen food security

India and Malaysia are among several Asian countries restricting exports of some key commodities as nations try to protect supplies out of concern for food security and inflation.

Thai sugar, chicken and rice producers are set to benefit as they benefit from strong harvests this year after back-to-back droughts. Meanwhile, Brazilians have faced the highest levels of hunger ever recorded during the pandemic, disproportionately affecting the poor and women.

In the United States, consumer spending held up well despite high inflation for decades and showed more evidence of tapping into savings to support purchases. China’s economy remained deeply slumped in May as lockdowns continued to weigh on activity.

Here are some of the charts that appeared on Bloomberg this week on the latest developments in the global economy:

World

IIndia will limit sugar exports as a precaution to protect its own food supply, another act of protectionism after it banned wheat sales just over a week ago. The country was the world’s biggest sugar exporter after Brazil last year, and counts Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and Dubai among its top customers.

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The twin crises of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s new pandemic shutdowns are rattling the global recovery by exacerbating inflation and hurting growth, according to a new study from Bloomberg Economics.

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The central banks of Pakistan, Ghana, Israel, Nigeria, New Zealand, South Korea and Guatemala raised interest rates this week. Russian policymakers cut rates in an effort to support its economy, but still raised rates more than they lowered for the year.

Asia
China’s economy remained deeply slumped in May as lockdowns continued to weigh on activity, and the threat of omicron and expanding restrictions dampened confidence. That’s the outlook based on Bloomberg’s aggregate index of eight leading indicators for this month.

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A plate of chicken rice, one of Singapore’s most popular dishes, is set to become more expensive after Malaysia moved to restrict exports. “If it does and, more worryingly, it reflects more protectionist measures by other countries on food security and inflation concerns, it could be a lose-lose scenario for everyone,” said Selena Ling, head of treasury research and strategy at Oversea-Chinese. Banking company

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Thailand, a major exporter of sugar, chickens and rice, stands to benefit as many of its Asian neighbors limit shipments of agricultural products to protect consumers from soaring prices. Rising food protectionism and rising prices are good news for Thai producers who are enjoying strong harvests this year after consecutive droughts.

Emerging Markets

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Consumer prices in Brazil jumped more than expected on food and transportation costs, as policymakers weigh how much longer they will extend interest rate hikes.

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Brazil has endured its highest levels of hunger on record during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report, highlighting the uphill struggles facing the poor ahead of elections in Latin America’s biggest economy.

WE

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Inflation-adjusted consumer spending in the United States rose in April by the highest level in three months, indicating that households resisted persistent price pressures by drawing down savings.

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US residential electricity rates have been rising for months and are poised to soar even higher this summer due to a combination of natural gas and coal shortages, relentless drought in the western United States and national extreme heat forecasts.

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More Americans are quitting their jobs than ever, and fewer are staying in their new positions. Among workers who took on a new job in 2021, the share who had been in their previous position for less than 12 months rose 6.5% from a year earlier, according to data compiled by LinkedIn.

Europe

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Investments in Germany supported Europe’s largest economy in the first quarter, helping it weather the headwinds caused by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

(With help from Low De Wei, Michelle Jamrisko, Santosh Kumar, Naureen S. Malik, James Mayger, Anuchit Nguyen, Pratik Parija, Olivia Rockeman, Andrew Rosati, Zoe Schneeweiss, Shruti Srivastava, Will Wade, Alexander Weber, Suttinee Yuvejwattana and Lin Zhu)

(The one-stop destination for MSMEs, ET RISE provides news, views and analysis on GST, exports, finance, policy and small business management.)

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