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May 29: Housing Market Collapses, Government Test Cryptos, Food Export Restrictions Begin (Recap ep177)

In this week’s Recap, Marcello talks about the collapse of the housing market in the US due to the increase in prices of newly built homes; Swift has now allowed international payments using central bank-issued cryptocurrencies; and Malaysia and India are banning the export of chicken and sugar, respectively.

A poll conducted by Vistage Worldwide Inc, had 57% of small businesses in the U.S. predict the domestic economy will get worse over next year, as the nation deals w/high inflation, supply-chain & labor shortages as well as rising interest rates. It matches the April 2020 mark for lowest level of confidence. Last month, 42% of small business owners had the same grim outlook on the economy. It is part of a broader confidence index that, in May, revealed its largest y/y drop since the COVID-19 lockdown from the spring of 2020
Japan’s manufacturing activity expanded at the slowest pace in 3 months in May, as supply bottlenecks attributed to parts shortages & China’s COVID-19 lockdowns caused output & new orders growth to slow. Activity in the services sector improved for the 2nd straight month on stronger domestic demand, due to the fading impact of the pandemic, though service-sector firms faced a drag from the sharpest rise in input prices on record.
Offshore from the village of Noli in Italy’s Liguria region, 6 large clear domes, or biospheres, are moored to the ocean floor & are growing herbs, vegetables & flowers just 130 feet from land. Known as Nemo’s Garden, it’s the world’s 1st & only underwater greenhouse. These biospheres utilize the ocean’s favorable environmental qualities like temperature stability, CO2 absorption & natural pest control to create a habitat appropriate for producing fresh produce. Could provide a supply of food where farming must be innovative
Fertilizer prices that recently hit record levels are now plunging, as buyers pull back, but that doesn’t mean the squeeze is over. June spot price in Tampa, Florida for example nitrogen fertilizer ammonia settled at $1K per metric ton, a drop of 30% from May’s $1,425 per metric ton. Even with the drop, prices for ammonia are still some +87% higher than a year ago & supply chain issues continue to wreak havoc on global markets.

Heavy rains have caused widespread flooding in parts of Bangladesh & India; Consumer spending, which accounts for over two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, increased +0.9% last month; the Bank of Canada sold all of its gold reserves; Hong Kong residents are leaving the city in far greater numbers in 2022.

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