More than two years since the lockdowns of 2020, the political mainstream, particularly on the left, is just beginning to realize that the response to Covid was an unprecedented catastrophe.
But that realization hasn’t taken the form of a mea culpa. Far from it. On the contrary, in order to see that reality is starting to dawn on the mainstream left, one must read between the lines of how their narrative on the response to Covid has evolved over the past two years.
The narrative now goes something like this: Lockdowns never really happened, because governments never actually locked people in their homes; but if there were lockdowns, then they saved millions of lives and would have saved even more if only they’d been stricter; but if there were any collateral damage, then that damage was an inevitable consequence of the fear from the virus independent of the lockdowns; and even when things were shut down, the rules weren’t very strict; but even when the rules were strict, we didn’t really support them.
Put simply, the prevailing narrative of the mainstream left is that any upside from the response to Covid is attributable to the state-ordered closures and mandates that they supported, while any downside was an inevitable consequence of the virus independent of any state-ordered closures and mandates which never happened and which anyway they never supported. Got it? Good.
This perplexing narrative was perfectly encapsulated in a recent viral tweet by a history professor who griped about the difficulty of convincing his students that government mandates had nothing to do with the fact that they couldn’t leave their homes in 2020.
Similarly, in an interview with Bill Maher, celebrity scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson argued that we can’t assess the effects of lockdowns and mandates because the counterexamples, like Sweden, are too different to be applicable. (Starting at 2:15).
We're now learning just how bad the "collateral damage" is post-pandemic. pic.twitter.com/ECw649U7do— Bill Maher (@billmaher) October 18, 2022
Likewise, astonishingly, in a debate on Monday, Charlie Crist, Democratic candidate for governor of Florida, accused Ron DeSantis of being “the only governor in the history of Florida that’s ever shut down our schools.” “You’re the only governor in the history of Florida that shut down our businesses,” Crist went on, “I never did that as governor. You’re the one who’s the shutdown guy.”
In fact, as DeSantis pointed out, Crist had publicly sued DeSantis to keep kids out of school in 2020, and he wrote DeSantis a letter in July 2020 saying the entire state should still be in lockdown.
Charlie Crist attempts to paint Gov. Ron DeSantis as "the shutdown guy" immediately after DeSantis talks about how he rejected Crist's calls to shut the state down. pic.twitter.com/0XoEbgq4Pg— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) October 24, 2022
Arguments like these are as facile as they are transparent. Does anyone honestly think these people would be arguing that lockdowns didn’t happen, or that it’s impossible to measure their effects, if the policy had been a success?
As is extraordinarily well-documented by data, video evidence, news reports, government orders, testimonial evidence, and living memory, the strict lockdowns of spring 2020 were all too real. And few people publicly opposed them.
As former UN Assistant Secretary-General Ramesh Thakur has documented in meticulous detail, the harms that lockdowns would cause were all well-known and reported when they were first adopted as policy in early 2020. These included accurate estimates of deaths due to delayed medical operations, a mental health crisis, drug overdoses, an economic recession, global poverty and hunger. In March 2020, the Dutch government commissioned a cost-benefit analysis concluding that the health damage from lockdowns—let alone the economic damage—would be six times greater than the benefit.
Yet regardless, for reasons we’re still only beginning to understand, key officials, media entities, billionaires and international organizations advocated the broad imposition of these unprecedented, devastating policies from the earliest possible date. The resulting scenes were horrific and dystopian.
People lined up outdoors in freezing temperatures to get food.
It’s before the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning, yet the line outside the Winco Foods grocery store on Coffee Road stretches around the block. Market employees are allowing 15 people in at a time. Some folks have been in line since 3 a.m. pic.twitter.com/hPYuhnQUwY— Eytan Wallace (@EytanWallace) March 14, 2020
In many cities, still-sick patients were tossed out of hospital beds and sent back to nursing homes.
Playgrounds were taped up.
Parks and beaches were closed, and some mainstream commentators argued that those closures should be even stricter.
Many who flouted these closures were charged or arrested.
Stores, and sometimes sections of stores, that were deemed “non-essential” were cordoned off.
School closures caused an unprecedented learning setback, especially for the poorest students. But even when schools were open, kids had to sit for hours in masks, separated by plexiglass barriers.
Many kids were forced to eat lunch outside in silence.
CHILD ABUSE: Kindergartners are forced to eat lunch outside in 40 degree weather at Capitol Hill Elementary School in Portland, Oregon.— Katie Daviscourt???????? (@KatieDaviscourt) December 8, 2021
They sit on buckets to social distance from their classmates. pic.twitter.com/KqFcliTFYf
Countless small businesses were forced to close, and more than half of those closures became permanent.
Cars lined up for miles at food banks.
Never forget. 59/ pic.twitter.com/Upyu7yev9c— LLadany (@lladany) March 29, 2022
The Financial Times reported that three million in the United Kingdom went hungry due to lockdown.
The situation was far worse in the developing world.
If these horror stories aren’t enough, the raw data speaks for itself.
The mainstream left’s newfound reluctance to refer to these policies as “lockdown” is especially curious, because they showed no such reluctance at the time they were actually implementing lockdowns in 2020.
By pretending that all of these horrors were attributable to public panic, apologists for the response to Covid are attempting to shift blame away from the political machines that imposed lockdowns and mandates onto individuals and their families. This is, of course, despicable and bunk. People did not voluntarily go hungry, or stand in the freezing cold to get food, or remove themselves from hospitals while they were still sick, or bankrupt their own businesses, or force their own kids to sit outside in the cold, or march hundreds of miles in exodus after losing their jobs in factories.
The collective denial of these horrors, and the refusal of media, financial, and political elites to report on them, amounts to nothing less than the greatest act of gaslighting that we’ve seen in modern times.
Further, the argument that all of these terrible outcomes could be attributed to public panic rather than state-imposed mandates would be far more convincing if governments hadn’t taken unprecedented actions to deliberately panic the public.
A report later revealed that military leaders had seen Covid as a unique opportunity to test propaganda techniques on the public, “shaping” and “exploiting” information to bolster support for government mandates. Dissenting scientists were silenced. Government psyops teams deployed fear campaigns on their own people in a scorched-earth campaign to drive consent for lockdowns.
Moreover, as a study by Cardiff University demonstrated, the primary factor by which citizens judged the threat of COVID-19 was their own government’s decision to employ lockdown measures. “We found that people judge the severity of the COVID-19 threat based on the fact the government imposed a lockdown—in other words, they thought, ‘it must be bad if government’s taking such drastic measures.’ We also found that the more they judged the risk in this way, the more they supported lockdown.” The policies thus created a feedback loop in which the lockdowns and mandates themselves sowed the fear that made citizens believe their risk of dying from COVID-19 was hundreds of times greater than it really was, in turn causing them to support more lockdowns and mandates.
Those who publicly spoke against lockdowns and mandates were ostracized and vilified—denounced by mainstream outlets like the New York Times, CNN, and health officials as “neo-Nazis” and “white nationalists.” Further, among those who really believed the mainstream Covid narrative—or merely pretended to—all the authoritarian methods that had supposedly contributed to China’s “success” against Covid, including censoring, canceling, and firing those who disagreed, were on the table.
Though many now claim to have opposed these measures, the truth is that publicly opposing lockdowns when they were at their apex in spring 2020 was lonely, frightening, thankless, and hard. Few did.
The gaslighting is by no means limited to the political left. On the political right, which now generally acknowledges that Covid mandates were a mistake, the revisionism is subtler, and tends to take the form of elites casting themselves—falsely—as having been anti-lockdown voices in early 2020, when the record is quite clear that they were vocal advocates of lockdowns and mandates.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson now rightly acts as a champion of the anti-mandate cause, but in fact Carlson was one of the most influential individuals who talked Donald Trump into signing onto lockdowns in early 2020. The UK’s short-lived Prime Minister Liz Truss stated that she’d “always” been against lockdowns, but she publicly supported both lockdowns and vaccine passes. Likewise, Canada’s conservative leader Pierre Poilievre now casts himself as an anti-mandate leader, but he supported both lockdowns and vaccine mandates as they were happening.
As Ben Irvine, author of The Truth About the Wuhan Lockdown, has tirelessly documented, right-wing publications including the UK’s Daily Telegraph now routinely act as opponents of lockdowns and mandates, while staying silent as to their own vocal support for strict lockdowns in spring 2020. And the same goes for countless other commentators and influencers on the political right as well.
To those who know their history, this wholesale gaslighting by elites on both the left and the right, while galling, isn’t terribly surprising. Most elites obtain power by doing whatever is in their own perceived best interest at any given time. They didn’t support lockdowns for any moral or even utilitarian reason. Rather, in spring 2020, elites calculated supporting lockdowns to be in their own best interest. Two years later, many now calculate it to be in their best interest to pretend they were the ones who always opposed lockdowns—while sidelining those who actually did.
This revisionism is all the more disappointing because a small handful of politicians including Ron DeSantis, Imran Khan, and Alberta Premier Danielle Smith have proven that admitting error in implementing lockdowns and mandates isn’t that hard, and can even be politically profitable.
The same should go for the political left. Thus far, we have yet to see anything remotely resembling regret from any leader on the left, but this is what a decent, Truman-era Democrat might say in these circumstances:
“The lockdowns of 2020 were a terrible mistake. While they were outside my field, it was my duty to properly vet the credibility of the advice that was coming from health officials and to end the mandates as soon as it was clear they weren’t working. In that role, I failed, and you all have my humblest apologies. Given the unprecedented harm that’s been done by these mandates, I support a full investigation into how this advice came about, in part to ensure there hasn’t been any untoward communist influence on these policies.”
Those who spoke against lockdowns and mandates in early 2020 showed that they were willing to stand up for the freedoms and Enlightenment principles for which our forebears fought so tirelessly, even when doing so was lonely, thankless, and hard. For that reason, anyone who did so has reason to feel extremely proud, and the future would be brighter if they were in positions of leadership. That fact is now becoming increasingly clear—unfortunately, even to those who did the opposite. One more reason to keep all the receipts.
* * *
Michael P Senger is an attorney and author of Snake Oil: How Xi Jinping Shut Down the World. Want to support my work? Get the book.
EY Eyes Comeback for Biopharma M&A
EY noted that the total value of biopharma M&A in 2022 was $88 billion, down 15% from $104 billion in 2021. The $88 billion accounted for most of the…
A recent trickle of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) announcements in the billion-dollar-and-up range suggests that biopharma may be ready to resume dealmaking this year—although the value and number of deals isn’t expected to return to the highs seen just before the pandemic.
2022 ended with a handful of 10- and 11-figure M&A deals, led by Amgen’s $27.8 billion buyout of Horizon Therapeutics, announced December 13. The dealmaking continued into January with three buyouts announced on the first day of the recent J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference: AstraZeneca agreed to acquire CinCor Pharma for up to $1.8 billion, while Chiesi Farmaceutici agreed to shell out up to $1.48 billion cash for Amryt, and Ipsen Group said it will purchase Albireo Pharma for $952 million-plus.
EY—the professional services firm originally known as Ernst & Young—recently noted that the total value of biopharma M&A in 2022 was $88 billion, down 15% from $104 billion in 2021 [See Chart]. The $88 billion accounted for most of the $135 billion in 124 deals in the life sciences. That $135 billion figure is less than half the record-high $313 billion recorded in 2019, including $261 billion in 70 biopharma deals.
The number of biopharma deals fell 17% to 75 deals from 90. EY’s numbers include only deals greater than $100 million. The other 49 deals totaling $47 million consisted of transactions in “medtech,” which includes diagnostics developers and companies specializing in “virtual health” such as telemedicine.
“We expect this to be a more active year as the sentiment starts to normalize a little bit,” Subin Baral, EY Global Life Sciences Deals Leader, told GEN Edge.
Baral is not alone in foreseeing a comeback for biopharma M&A.
John Newman, PhD, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity, predicted last week in a research note that biopharma companies will pursue a growing number of smaller cash deals in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion this year. He said rising interest rates are discouraging companies from taking on larger blockbuster deals that require buyers to take on larger sums of debt.
“We look for narrowing credit spreads and lower interest rates to encourage larger M&A ($50 billion and more) deals. We do not anticipate many $50B+ deals that could move the XBI +5%,” Newman said. (XBI is the SPDR S&P Biotech Electronic Transfer Fund, one of several large ETFs whose fluctuations reflect investor enthusiasm for biopharma stock.)
Newman added: “We continue to expect a biotech swell in 2023 that may become an M&A wave if credit conditions improve.”
Foreseeing larger deals than Newman and Canaccord Genuity is PwC, which in a commentary this month predicted: “Biotech deals in the $5–15 billion range will be prevalent and will require a different set of strategies and market-leading capabilities across the M&A cycle.”
Those capabilities include leadership within a specific therapeutic category, for which companies will have to buy and sell assets: “Prepared management teams that divest businesses that are subscale while doubling down on areas where leadership position and the right to win is tangible, may be positioned to deliver superior returns,” Glenn Hunzinger, PwC’s U.S. Pharma & Life Science Leader, and colleagues asserted.
The Right deals
Rising interest and narrowing credit partially explain the drop-off in deals during 2022, EY’s Baral said. Another reason was sellers adjusting to the drop in deal valuations that resulted from the decline of the markets which started late in 2021.
“It took a little bit longer to realize the reality of the market conditions on the seller side. But on the buyer side, the deals that they were looking at were not just simply a valuation issue. They were looking at the quality of the assets. And you can see that the quality deals—the right deals, as we call them—are still getting done,” Baral said.
The right deals, according to Baral, are those in which buyers have found takeover targets with a strong, credible management team, solid clinical data, and a clear therapeutic focus.
“Rare disease and oncology assets are still dominating the deal making, particularly oncology because your addressable market continues to grow,” Baral said. “Unfortunately, what that means is the patient population is growing too, so there’s this increased unmet need for that portfolio of assets.”
Several of 2022’s largest M&A deals fit into that “right” category, Baral said—including Amgen-Horizon, Pfizer’s $11.6-billion purchase of Biohaven Pharmaceuticals and the $6.7-billion purchase of Arena Pharmaceuticals (completed in March 2022); and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s $4.1-billion buyout of Turning Point Therapeutics.
“Quality companies are still getting funded one way or the other. So, while the valuation dropped, people were all expecting a flurry of deals because they are still companies with a shorter runway of cash that will be running to do deals. But that really didn’t happen from a buyer perspective,” Baral said. “The market moved a little bit from what was a seller’s market for a long time, to what we would like to think of as the pendulum swinging towards a buyers’ market.”
Most biopharma M&A deals, he said, will be “bolt-on” acquisitions in which a buyer aims to fill a gap in its clinical pipeline or portfolio of marketed drugs through purchases that account for less than 25% of a buyer’s market capitalization.
Baral noted that a growing number of biopharma buyers are acquiring companies with which they have partnered for several years on drug discovery and/or development collaborations. Pfizer acquired BioHaven six months after agreeing to pay the company up to $1.24 billion to commercialize rimegepant outside the U.S., where the migraine drug is marketed as Nurtec® ODT.
“There were already some kind of relationships there before these deals actually happened. But that also gives an indication that there are some insights to these targets ahead of time for these companies to feel increasingly comfortable, and pay the valuation that they’re paying for them,” Baral said.
$1.4 Trillion available
Baral sees several reasons for increased M&A activity in 2023. First, the 25 biopharma giants analyzed by EY had $1.427 trillion available as of November 30, 2022, for M&A in “firepower”—which EY defines as a company’s capacity to carry out M&A deals based on the strength of its balance sheet, specifically the amount of capital available for M&A deals from sources that include cash and equivalents, existing debt, and market cap.
That firepower is up 11% from 2021, and surpasses the previous record of $1.22 trillion in 2014, the first year that EY measured the available M&A capital of large biopharmas.
Unlike recent years, Baral said, biopharma giants are more likely to deploy that capital on M&A this year to close the “growth gap” expected to occur over the next five years as numerous blockbuster drugs lose patent exclusivity and face new competition from lower-cost generic drugs and biosimilars.
“There is not enough R&D in their pipeline to replenish a lot of their revenue. And this growth gap is coming between 2024 and 2026. So, they don’t have a long runway to watch and stay on the sidelines,” Baral said.
This explains buyers’ interest in replenishing pipelines with new and innovative treatments from smaller biopharmas, he continued. Many smaller biopharmas are open to being acquired because declining valuations and limited cash runways have increased investor pressure on them to exit via M&A. The decline of the capital markets has touched off dramatic slowdowns in two avenues through which biopharmas have gone public in recent years—initial public offerings (IPOs) and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).
EY recorded just 17 IPOs being priced in the U.S. and Europe, down 89% from 158 a year earlier. The largest IPO of 2022 was Prime Medicine’s initial offering, which raised $180.3 million in net proceeds for the developer of a “search and replace” gene editing platform.
Another 12 biopharmas agreed to SPAC mergers with blank-check companies, according to EY, with the largest announced transaction (yet to close at deadline) being the planned $899 million merger of cancer drug developer Apollomics with Maxpro Capital Acquisition.
“For the smaller players, the target biotech companies, their alternate source of access to capital pathways such as IPOs and SPACs is shutting down on them. So how would the biotech companies continue to fund themselves? Those with quality assets are still getting funded through venture capital or other forms of capital,” Baral said. “But in general, there is not a lot of appetite for the biotech that is taking that risk.
Figures from EY show a 37% year-to-year decline in the total value of U.S. and European VC deals, to $16.88 billion in 2022 from $26.62 billion in 2021. Late-stage financing rounds accounted for just 31% of last year’s VC deals, down from 34% in 2021 and 58% in 2012. The number of VC deals in the U.S. and Europe fell 18%, to 761 last year from 930 in 2021.
The decline in VC financing helps explain why many smaller biopharmas are operating with cash “runways” of less than 12 months. “Depending on the robustness of their data, their therapeutic area, and their management, there will be a natural attrition. Some of these companies will just have to wind down,” Baral added.
Baral also acknowledged some headwinds that are likely to dampen the pace of M&A activity. In addition to rising interest rates and inflation increasing the cost of capital, valuations remain high for the most sought-after drugs, platforms, and other assets—a result of growing and continuing innovation.
Another headwind is growing regulatory scrutiny of the largest deals. Illumina’s $8 billion purchase of cancer blood test developer Grail has faced more than two years of challenges from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and especially the European Commission—while Congress acted last year to begin curbing the price of prescription drugs and insulin through the “Inflation Reduction Act.”
Those headwinds may prompt many companies to place greater strategic priority on collaborations and partnerships instead of M&A, Baral predicted, since they offer buyers early access to newer technologies before deciding whether to invest more capital through a merger or acquisition.
“Early-stage collaboration, early minority-stake investment becomes increasingly important, and it has been a cornerstone for early access to these technologies for the industry for a long, long time, and that is not changing any time soon,” Baral said. “On the other hand, even on the therapeutic area side, early-stage development is still expensive to do in-house for the large biopharma companies because of their cost structure.
“So, it is efficient cost-wise and speed-wise to buy these assets when they reach a certain point, which is probably at Phase II onward, and then you can pull the trigger on acquisitions if needed,” he added.congress pandemic genetic interest rates european europe
Pfizer’s Albert Bourla spells out ‘transition year’ for Covid products, with sales expected to reach a low point
On the heels of a record sales year, Pfizer is bracing for impact as it expects Covid-19 revenue to bottom out in 2023.
That’s due to lower compliance…
On the heels of a record sales year, Pfizer is bracing for impact as it expects Covid-19 revenue to bottom out in 2023.
That’s due to lower compliance with vaccine recommendations, fewer primary vaccines being administered, and a “significant” government supply that’s expected to last throughout early this year, execs said Tuesday on the company’s Q4 earnings call.
CEO Albert Bourla anticipates $13.5 billion in Comirnaty sales this year, down 64% from 2022, and just $8 billion in Paxlovid revenue, down 58% from 2022.
“We expect 2023 to be a transition year in the US,” he said on the call, adding that the company sold more vaccine and treatment doses this year than were actually used. “This resulted in a government inventory build that we expect to be absorbed sometime in 2023 — probably the second half of the year. Around that time, we expect to start selling Comirnaty through commercial channels at commercial prices.”
Just 15.5% of eligible Americans have received bivalent booster doses, compared to 69.2% who completed their primary series, according to the CDC’s latest data. Last week, the FDA’s vaccines advisory committee voted unanimously in favor of “harmonizing” Covid vaccine compositions, meaning all new vaccine recipients would receive a bivalent shot, regardless of whether they’ve received the primary series.
Even so, only 31% of people in the US received a Covid vaccine this year, and Pfizer expects that number to dip to about 24% in 2023.
Bourla’s expecting a similar slump in Paxlovid sales, due to existing unused government supply. According to data from ASPR updated last week, states have about 4 million unused Paxlovid courses.
The antiviral significantly underperformed this year, missing Bourla’s prior full-year projections by just over $3 billion. Comirnaty seemed to pick up the slack, however, raking in roughly $37.8 billion in global sales, or about $3.8 billion more than Bourla predicted at the end of the third quarter.
“While patient demand for our Covid products is expected to remain strong throughout 2023, much of that demand is expected to be fulfilled by products that were delivered to governments in 2022 and recorded as revenues last year,” CFO David Denton said on the call.
Commercial pricing for both Comirnaty and Paxlovid will likely kick in around the second half of this year, according to Bourla. While the pharma giant previously said it expects to charge between $110 and $130 for the BioNTech-partnered shot (almost quadrupling the price), chief commercial officer Angela Hwang said the team is still “preparing what those pricing scenarios could look like” for Paxlovid and will “share more at the right time.”
The Pfizer team is expecting Covid sales to pick back up in the next couple years — and if all goes according to plan, a successful combination shot for flu and Covid-19 would “bring the percentage of Americans receiving the Covid-19 vaccine closer to the portion of people getting flu shots, which is currently about 50%,” Bourla said. The company launched a Phase I study for an mRNA-based combo vaccine back in November.
Lower projected Covid sales led Bourla to set his full-year sales expectations in 2023 at $67 billion to $71 billion, down roughly 30% from 2022, which let down some analysts.
“PFE guidance for 2023 provided with 4Q22 results was disappointing despite the company talking down financial prospects in recent weeks,” SVB Securities analysts wrote in a note to investors on Tuesday.
However, when it comes to R&D investment, Bourla’s keeping his foot on the gas. As the CEO said back in November, “It’s all about what’s next.”
That’s why he’s earmarking around $12.4 billion to $13.4 billion for R&D this year, up nearly 9% from last year. It’s all part of his effort to make up for an expected $17 billion loss due to patent expiries between 2025 and 2030.
Last quarter, he spelled out ambitious plans to bring 19 new products or indications to market over the next year and a half. The chief executive highlighted a few of those programs on Tuesday, including potential combo shots for flu, Covid-19 and RSV, an oral GLP-1 candidate for diabetes and obesity, and potential vaccines for Lyme disease and shingles.
Other programs, however, didn’t make the cut. Pfizer also disclosed on Tuesday that it cut eight programs, including recifercept, an achondroplasia drug that was the centerpiece of Pfizer’s Therachon buyout in 2019, and two Paxlovid indications that failed their respective Phase III trials.cdc covid-19 vaccine treatment fda
IMF Upgrades Global Growth Forecast As Inflation Cools
IMF Upgrades Global Growth Forecast As Inflation Cools
The International Monetary Fund published its latest World Economic Outlook on Monday,…
The International Monetary Fund published its latest World Economic Outlook on Monday, painting a slightly less gloomy picture than three and a half months ago, as inflation appears to have peaked in 2022, consumer spending remains robust and the energy crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been less severe than initially feared.
However, the IMF predicts the slowdown to be less pronounced than previously anticipated.
Global growth is now expected to fall from 3.4 percent in 2022 to 2.9 percent this year, before rebounding to 3.1 percent in 2024.
The 2023 growth projection is up from an October estimate of 2.7 percent, as the IMF sees far fewer countries facing recession this year and does no longer anticipates a global downturn.
You will find more infographics at Statista
One of the reasons behind the cautiously optimistic outlook is the latest downward trend in inflation, which suggests that inflation may have peaked in 2022.
The IMF predicts global inflation to cool to 6.6 percent in 2023 and 4.3 percent in 2024, which is still above pre-pandemic levels of about 3.5 percent, but significantly lower than the 8.8 percent observed in 2022.
“Economic growth proved surprisingly resilient in the third quarter of last year, with strong labor markets, robust household consumption and business investment, and better-than-expected adaptation to the energy crisis in Europe,” Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, the IMF’s chief economist, wrote in a blog post released along with the report.
“Inflation, too, showed improvement, with overall measures now decreasing in most countries—even if core inflation, which excludes more volatile energy and food prices, has yet to peak in many countries.”
The risks to the latest outlook remain tilted to the downside, the IMF notes, as the war in Ukraine could further escalate, inflation continues to require tight monetary policies and China’s recovery from Covid-19 disruptions remains fragile. On the plus side, strong labor markets and solid wage growth could bolster consumer demand, while easing supply chain disruptions could help cool inflation and limit the need for more monetary tightening.
In conclusion, Gourinchas calls for multilateral cooperation to counter “the forces of geoeconomic fragmentation”.
“This time around, the global economic outlook hasn’t worsened,” he writes. “That’s good news, but not enough. The road back to a full recovery, with sustainable growth, stable prices, and progress for all, is only starting.”
However, just because the 'trend' has shifted doesn't mean it's mission accomplished...
That looks an awful lot like Central Bankers' nemesis remains - global stagflation curb stomps the dovish hopes.
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