Activity Gains a Bit More Traction

(Bloomberg) — Economic activity in the world’s most advanced countries continues to improve, though it’s still below levels seen before the global health crisis.

Business at U.S. service providers is growing at a robust pace and imports are accelerating to meet steady sales. Bankruptcies in Japan are declining as the government assists struggling firms. Stronger economic growth will be crucial to stabilizing the world employment picture, more notably in Europe where slack in the labor market is expanding.

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


chart, histogram: Slow Recovery

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Slow Recovery

After a period of economic weakness in August and September, the pace of recovery in most advanced economies gained traction in the past two weeks, though activity is still far below pre-Covid levels, according to Bloomberg Economics gauges.

chart, line chart: Shallower Slump, Slower Bounceback

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Shallower Slump, Slower Bounceback

The World Trade Organization offered a less gloomy projection for this year’s decline in global trade, while noting that downside risks remain if further outbreaks of Covid-19 stall the economic recovery.

chart, line chart: Goodbye V, Hello L

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Goodbye V, Hello L

A Bloomberg Economics analysis of 36 recessions since 1965 across the Group-of-Seven countries suggests an L-shaped recovery is more likely than a V.


chart, histogram: In recovery, U.S. unemployment rates by race/ethnicity remain dispersed

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In recovery, U.S. unemployment rates by race/ethnicity remain dispersed

Targeting reductions in the Black unemployment rate would lead the Federal Open Market Committee to keep interest rates near zero for at least five years, a new Bloomberg Economics analysis found.

timeline: The U.S.'s trade deficit grew to the biggest since 2006 in August

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The U.S.’s trade deficit grew to the biggest since 2006 in August

The U.S. trade deficit widened in August to the largest since 2006 as the nation imported a record amount of consumer goods amid a pickup in sales ahead of the holiday-shopping season. American businesses, which drew down inventories at the start of the lockdown, have recently boosted imports to meet demand.

chart: Gauge of U.S. services stronger than forecast as orders, activity accelerate

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Gauge of U.S. services stronger than forecast as orders, activity accelerate

Service industries expanded in September by more than forecast as faster growth in new orders and a pickup in employment pointed toward a better pace of economic recovery.


chart: Tall Order

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Tall Order

The U.K. economy’s poor performance in August means it looks set to fall short of Bank of England forecasts, boosting the likelihood of more monetary stimulus.

diagram: Musical Chairs

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Musical Chairs

Frank Elderson was picked by euro-area finance ministers as the sole candidate to succeed Yves Mersch on the ECB Executive Board. The Netherlands hasn’t held a seat on the six-member body since 2003.

map: Out of Work

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Out of Work

The economic shock of the pandemic has left millions of Europeans without a job, and millions more underemployed. Total slack in the labor market, which comprises all people with an unmet need for employment, jumped to nearly 30 million in the second quarter, or 14% of the EU’s extended workforce.


chart: On the Decline

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On the Decline

Japanese bankruptcies declined in the six months through September to the lowest level in 31 years, as government and central bank support helped prop up struggling firms.

Emerging Markets

Jumping Ship

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Jumping Ship

Wealthy Argentines are fleeing to Uruguay, driven by increases in taxes and proposals for more, growing political division, deepening poverty and ongoing spikes in the virus.

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