Sri Lanka on the brink of bankruptcy: Consumers hit hard by soaring inflation, food shortages
24 February 2022 | 6:22 am
Sri Lanka's ongoing economic meltdown is getting worse day by day. It's the worst financial crisis this island nation of 22 million people has faced since its independence seven decades ago. The country's foreign reserves have been dangerously low in recent months, and experts fear the country is on the verge of default.
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Chinese real estate giant Evergrande, saddled with around $300 billion in debt, has been struggling to meet interest payments on its loans. If it collapses, some of its partner firms could be driven to bankruptcy, prospective homebuyers could lose deposits and some banks would lend less money, which would lead to a credit crunch in the world's second-biggest economy. Property developers in China have in fact created an oversupply: there is enough empty property in the country to house more than 90 million people. FRANCE 24's team reports.
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The Federal Reserve is paving the way for possible interest rate hikes next year, in an effort to contain stubbornly high inflation. At the conclusion of a two-day policy meeting Wednesday, the central bank announced plans to phase out its large-scale bond-buying program faster than initially planned. The Fed started purchasing bonds during the pandemic as a way to keep borrowing costs across the economy low and to prevent any market disruptions.
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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is defying the standard prescriptions for inflation – the country's worst in nearly two decades – by burning through currency reserves and central bank governors to keep interest rates low. As those reserves dwindle and lines lengthen at subsidised bakeries, we ask our guests about the impact on ordinary citizens and why Erdogan is holding out, with cues to booming exports which he says are the flipside of a plummeting lira.
The rate of price rises across the 38 members of the OECD hit 5.8 percent in November, the highest since 1996. In the United States, the head of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, has warned that high inflation poses a "severe threat" to the jobs market, ahead of the release of the latest figures there on Wednesday. FRANCE 24's Business Editor Stephen Carroll examine the factors driving the spike in inflation, and how long it might last.
Inflation in the United States has jumped to 7%, the highest increase in nearly four decades. The Federal Reserve has already begun removing pandemic-related stimulus.
Small business owners and shoppers in a Washington, D.C. neighborhood on Wednesday said they were struggling to adjust to rising prices, amid the highest inflation in nearly 40 years.
US consumer prices rose last year at the highest rate in four decades. With inflation at 7% in 2021, US consumers have not seen prices soar so much since the early 1980s.
During a press conference to mark his first year in office, US President Joe Biden cited high prices as one of the biggest problems facing the United States. Inflation hit a 40-year high of 7 percent in December. Our correspondents report from Washington on how a higher cost of living is driving many workers to change jobs for higher pay, and FRANCE 24's Business Editor Stephen Carroll looks at how the French government is tackling this issue.
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