A 90-year-old grandma from the UK became the first person to get an approved Covid-19 vaccine in the Western hemisphere. This is a milestone moment since the pandemic saw over 1.5 million lives lost and caused a huge part of the worldwide economy to close down.
The distribution of vaccines over 2021 is expected to cause economic expansion. It will enable enterprises (that have been closed to slow down the disease’s spread) to re-open while causing an increase in demand.
But economists are stating that the recovery might not be as dramatic as some would think.
The recovery will be robust in historical terms, but it will not seem so for lots of people. There could be obstacles and uncertainties waiting for us.
Ben May from Oxford Economics thinks worldwide gross domestic product growth in 2021 to be the most robust since the late ’70s. A significant upswing that will be able to carry production back to pre-corona levels by the summer. But, considering that the jump will merely bring back the status quo, it probably won’t feel like the best year in more than 40 years.
Some sectors will experience more of the impact than others. Industrial production has been sturdy and probably accelerated rapidly, while the services sector, especially long-distance traveling, will probably recover slower.
Neil Shearing of Capital Economics claims that worldwide gross domestic product will rebound to pre-corona levels by mid-2021. However, in a recent statement to clients, he noted that the global economy would not get back to previous trajectories until 2024.
He pointed out that nations could not recover at the same time due to the unequal effects of the virus. Spain, India, France, and the UK, for instance, have been hit especially hard and are still depressed, while China is lining ahead.
The virus has caused vast differences in economic outcomes, according to him. These differences will still be here next year, but they will probably narrow as vaccines arrive and the heaviest impacted nations begin to recover.
Long-term consequences will depend, partly, on what will happen in the coming months, as restrictions are being re-imposed during the harsh winter. Again, Hong Kong is imposing stricter social distance initiatives to fight the disease’s 4th wave, while the US sees sharp jumps in numbers after Thanksgiving.
Even with the promising near-term perspective, we nonetheless see notable downside risks if lower temperatures in upcoming months and the restricted policy and consumer policy response thus far tell the virus spreading much more.
Uber’s abandoning attempt to construct self-driving cars
Uber sells its self-driving car branch to the self-driving car startup Aurora, marking an end to a five-year stretch of self-driving car development marked by lawsuits and a fatal accident.
Uber will take a 26% stake in Aurora—supported by Amazon and Sequoia Capital—and invest USD 400M in the company that makes software for such cars.
Aurora Chief Executive Officer Chris Urmson was also in charge of Google’s autonomous-driving car branch. Uber and Aurora state they have entered into a strategic alliance to deploy Aurora-powered self-driving cars on the Uber application.
The sale marks a finish to Uber’s plans to build a number of self-driving cars that could carry passengers. It argued that self-driving cars’ production was important to its survival, considering that self-driving vehicles could potentially make other vehicles costly and obsolete.
But Uber, faced with lower demand for ride-sharing because of the pandemic, has to lower costs to meet its commitment to achieving profitability next year.
Since its establishing, the program also faced many obstacles. Uber pumped up its squad in 2016 when he bought Otto – a self-driving truck startup. Waymo, Google’s autonomous-driving venture, later sued the ride-sharing company for suspected trade secrets and infringement of intellectual properties. The suit’s settlement took place in February 2018, with Waymo earning about USD 245 million in Uber stock.
Uber saw more problems when one of its test vehicles hit and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, in 2018. This was the first death by a completely-autonomous car and a stain on a sector that is adamant to keep high safety standards when developing its tech.
California’s water futures are beginning to trade as shortage concerns intensify
Investors have long been in the position to make bets on the future prices of assets such as oil, metals, and cocoa. Now, water entered the game.
Futures linked to the Nasdaq Veles California Water Index, which tracks the volume-weighted median price of water, started trading on the CME on Monday.
Water has never been traded like this, but climate change is changing the game. Prior to the futures launch, the purchase and sale of water rights—which let the holder pump water from the land or reservoirs—just occurred on the spot marketplace, which targets current rates. When there is a need for more water for crops and supply regions in dry periods, purchasers saw high costs and many uncertainties.
The goal of the new futures is to bring clarity to the vague marketplace. They may also promote betting by financial players, such as hedge funds.
The US is the 2nd largest water user globally, with California responsible for 9 percent of the country’s daily intake. However, scarcity is becoming a bigger issue because of droughts due to climate woes and population density.
According to the UN, by 2025, 2/3 of the globe will be living under water-stressed terms. This will cause prices to go up while bringing up demand for linked financial assets.