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Jagged Reopening of Nations Worldwide Paves Uncertain Path to Economic Recovery

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As economies reopen globally, there is a constant battle to achieve a balance between surging COVID-19 cases and addressing economic slowdown.

Due to the prevailing uncertainty following COVID-19, Global Data’s 2020 forecast for global economic growth has been revised downward from -0.9% (estimated 6 April) to -3.95% (estimated 3 August).

The signs of a faltering rebound is evident in countries such as the US, which may act as a drag on the European economy. GlobalData expects the global economy to witness a contraction of real GDP by 3.95% in 2020 accompanied with a growth of 5.27% in 2021, which is subject to change in the event of a second wave of COVID-19 spread amid resurgence of cases in major economies.

Shruti Upadhyay, Economic Research Analyst at GlobalData, states: “As businesses have been allowed to reopen and retail sales improved, an uptick was observed in the manufacturing and service sectors in the last three months (May–July) globally. GlobalData noted that manufacturing PMI showed an overall improvement in June for countries such as the US (49.8), Brazil (51.6), India (47.2), Russia (49.4), the UK (50.1), France (52.3) and China (50.9). Historically, when the index surpasses 50, it gestures an end to a manufacturing recession. However, with regional lockdowns gaining traction due to resurgence of cases, business conditions now continue to witness patchy recovery.

Retail sales in the Eurozone plunged to record lows when confinement measures were put in place, but sales rebounded as economies started reopening in a phased manner. Asymmetric demand led to rise in retail sector activities and a fall in demand for contact-intensive sectors. Countries that are cripplingly reliant on contact-intensive industries are expected to be deeply impacted in short-term. A slow recovery is being noticed in the active jobs and stock market, both in advanced and emerging economies with varying severity of fresh outbreaks and different pace of openings in the economy.

Upadhyay concludes: “The Eurozone’s reopening provides a beacon of light to countries such as the US, India and Brazil which are battling with rising number of cases in the country. However, with draconian lockdown measures lifted to reignite the damaged economies, the number of virus cases crept higher in Spain, France and Germany as these nations grapple between saving the economy and averting fresh outbreaks.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Economy

COVID-19 Vaccine: Crude Oil Extends Gain to $48 Per Barrel on Wednesday

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Oil prices rose further on Wednesday as hope for an effective COVID-19 vaccine and the news that the United States of America’s President-elect, Joe Biden has begun transition to the White House bolstered crude oil demand.

Brent crude oil, a Nigerian type of oil, gained 1.63 percent or 78 cents to $48.64 per barrel at 11:50 am Nigerian time on Wednesday.

The United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose by 1.36 percent or 61 cents to $45.52 per barrel.

OPEC Basket surged the most in terms of gain, adding 3.16 percent or $1.37 to $44.75 per barrel.

This was after AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech announced the positive results of their trials.

Moderna and Pfizer had claimed over 90 percent effective rate in trials while AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine was 70 percent effective in trials but could hit 90 percent going forward.

The possibility of having a vaccine next year increases the odds that we’re going to see demand return in the new year,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Also, the decision of President-elect Joe Biden to bring Janet Yellen, the former Chair of Federal Reserve, back as a Treasury Secretary of the United States is fueling demand and strong confidence across global financial markets.

President-elect Biden’s cabinet choices, particularly Janet Yellen’s Treasury Secretary position, are adding to upside momentum across a broad space of asset classes,” said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates.

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Seyi Makinde Proposes N266.6 Billion Budget for Oyo State in 2021

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The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has presented the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly on Monday.

The proposed budget titled “Budget of Continued Consolidation” was said to be prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of Oyo state.

Governor Makinde disclosed this via his official Twitter handle @seyiamakinde.

According to the governor, the proposed recurrent expenditure stood at N136,262,990,009.41 while the proposed capital expenditure was N130,381,283,295.63. Bringing the total proposed budget to N266,6444,273,305.04.

The administration aimed to implement at least 70 percent of the proposed budget if approved.

He said “The total budgeted sum is ₦266,644,273,305.04. The Recurrent Expenditure is ₦136,262,990,009.41 while the Capital Expenditure is ₦130,381,283,295.63. We are again, aiming for at least 70% implementation of the budget.”

He added that “It was my honour to present the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly, today. This Budget of Continued Consolidation was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of our state.”

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World Bank Expects Nigeria’s Per Capita Income to Dip to 40 Years Low in 2020

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The World Bank has raised concern about Nigeria’s rising debt service cost, saying it could incapacitate the nation from necessary infrastructure development and growth.

The multilateral financial institution said the nation’s per capita income could plunge to 40 years low in 2020.

According to Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, Country Director for World Bank in Nigeria, the decline in global oil prices had impacted government finances, remittances from the diaspora and the balance of payments.

Chaudhuri, who spoke during the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Federal Government, said while the nation’s debt is between 20 to 30 percent, rising debt service remains the bane of its numerous financial issues and growth.

Nigeria’s problem is that the debt service takes a big part of the government revenue,” he said.

He said, “Crisis like this is often what it takes to bring a nation together to have that consensus within the political, business, government, military, civil society to say, ‘We have to do something that departs from business as usual.’

“And for Nigeria, this is a critical juncture. With the contraction in GDP that could happen this year, Nigeria’s per capita income could be around what it was in 1980 – four decades ago.”

Nigeria’s per capita income stood at $847.40 in 1980, according to data from the World Bank. It rose to $3,222.69 in 2014 before falling to $2,229.9 in 2019.

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