Economics in the News – Oct. 11-17, 2021
Economics impacts our lives every day. Below are some of the top storylines from this past week related to economics.
- Ninety-six percent of individuals living in low-income countries remain unvaccinated. That’s one impact of the greater divide between wealthy and unwealthy countries.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected an overall growth rate of six percent this year for the global economy, but worldwide poverty, hunger and debt are rising. COVID-19 is causing supply chain issues around the world and the IMF warns that it could have lingering impacts for at least the next five years. [The New York Times]
- Expect higher heating bills this winter. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) warned that roughly half of the homes heated by natural gas can expect to spend an average of 30 percent more on their electric bill compared to last year. Natural gas futures are at a seven-year high, and economists expect the price to continue rising.
If the winter temperatures are 10 percent cooler than last year, bills could be expected to be 50 percent higher. If the winter is 10 percent warmer than last year, bills could be expected to be 22 percent higher. The EIA attributed the higher costs to rising energy prices. [The Wall Street Journal]
- With more electric vehicles being produced, will the United States’ electric grid be able to adequately serve those cars on the road? President Joe Biden’s administration wants to see electric cars account for half of all car sales by 2030 in order to battle climate change. New York wants to ban sales of internal combustion engine cars by 2035.
But the electric grid needs massive upgrades to be able to deliver clean energy for many drivers. By 2050, New York projects that electric cars, trucks and buses will use 14 percent of the state’s backup – roughly half of the output typical of New York City. Without a renewable source of electricity, electric vehicles will contribute to climate change where fossil fuels are being burned at power plants. [The Washington Post]
- Former United States secretary of state Colin Powell passed away early Monday morning of COVID-19 complications. He was 84 years old and was fully vaccinated, according to his family. He announced to famed Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward over the summer that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, while also being treated for multiple myeloma.
Powell served in the U.S. Army for 35 years, including in the Vietnam War. He later became the first African American to become chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs, before becoming the first African American to become secretary of state under former President George W. Bush. Powell played a key role in the United States’ response following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. [Associated Press]