How the Economy Changed This Year

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Annoyed by working in suffocating heat for low pay, workers at a fast-food business in Sacramento, California requested greater compensation and a new air-con…and they got everything.

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The Grim Details

Customer requests came into an Italian automotive vendor, which battled to keep up with the demand for everything from plastics to computer chips.


A drought in Taiwan exacerbated a global scarcity of computer chips, which are critical in the production of automobiles and electronics.

For decades, the world economy has not seen anything like this. Prices rose upward in 2021, after years of ultra-low inflation had been a staple of economies around the world – in the supermarket, the gas pump, the used-car market, and the furniture store.

Put it down to the economy’s remarkably quick and strong rebound from the pandemic slump, which caught suppliers off guard and handicapped them with COVID-19 interruptions.

Workers in the United States, who had fought for years for decent pay, benefits, and conditions of employment, now have the conviction to quit if they don’t obtain them.

The economic recovery was as surprising as the slump before it, thanks to the large infusions of government funding and extensive distribution of COVID vaccines.

Both the rapidity of the rebound and the new COVID varieties that endangered its long-term viability surprised policymakers, company owners, and economists. After all, they never had to deal with the unpredictability of a worldwide pandemic’s economic and other consequences.


The world economy seemed to be on the verge of collapse in the spring of 2020. COVID-19 infections spread so quickly they prompted lockdowns, scared people to hunker down at home, stopped travel and normal business activities, and caused companies to slash millions of jobs.

A Downward Trend

The IMF anticipated in June 2020 that the world economy would contract by 4.9 percent for the year, the first dip in world economic production since the economic meltdown of 2008-2009.

However, the authorities of the world’s wealthiest nations poured money into repairing their economy. This year and last, the United States was particularly aggressive, providing $5 trillion in COVID-related economic funding to individuals, corporations, and communities.

“The United States has been a global anomaly,” said Robin Brooks, head strategist at the Institute of International Banking, a global trade association for financial firms.


We had the richest bank account of any nation. We have this obscene advantage of being able to rack up debts in order to pay for COVID relief while having to pay outrageous interest rates.

Global investors consider US government debt to be one of the safest investments available; their purchases of US treasuries keep interest rates low in the United States.

Despite massive government expenditure and rising inflation, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note is still lower than it was before the outbreak, at about 1.4 percent as of early Friday.