Headline, May 17 2019/ ''' '' WORLD ECONOMY WACKS '' ''' : REELS & ROILS


WACKS '' ''' :


FRANCE : XAVIER DENAMUR IS USED TO BUSTLING between the five popular bistros he owns in the Marais neighborhood of central Paris, managing a team of -

Of 70 waiters and chefs and keeping tabs on the phalanx of patrons who crowd his tables, elbow-to-elbow, the hole year round.

But one recent Monday, Mr. Denamur, 57, was scrambling to deal with a situation that he said resembled wartime conditions : overseeing the abrupt closure of his businesses as President Emmanuel Macron prepared to move France to a closure quarantine.

By midnight, Mr. Denamaur would have to empty his refrigerator of almost 20,000 euros, or about  $22,000 worth of goat cheese, beef bourguinon, pate and other delicacies that would spoil by the time any quarantine ended, and would now have to be given away.

''We knew there would probably be a shutdown, but I didn't think things would happen so fast,'' he said, pressing two cell phones to his ears as he and a handful of employees hurried to empty refrigerators and wipe the bistros down before closing indefinitely.

France corporate giants were also well swept up in the tide ahead of the lock down. Big employers including the automakers Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen, as well as the tire maker Michelin, announced that that they would halt French factory operations.

Air France said it would put all all its employees on part-time work for six months.

If the prospect of an extended clamp down left companies reeling, it was especially daunting for smaller employers like Mr. Denamur, who have little time to prepare for potentially large losses and ensure that workers are not left in precarious straits as they are forced to stay home.

CHINA : AND in China, the life of businesses was shaping up to be no different, and even worse. The growth streak that lasted for decades, surviving the crackdown at Tiananmen Square, the global financial crisis and the trade war with the United States.

But it might not endure the coronavirus epidemic, making it nearly impossible for the rest of the world to escape a slowdown.

The damage was widespread in the official numbers released some weeks ago, the first significant batch of government data since China's vast containment efforts brought the country to a standstill.

Industrial production, retail sales and investment all posted record doube-digit drops for the first two months of the year, compared with the same period in 2019.

The weakness raises the possibility that the entire Chinese economy may have shrunk in the first quarter if this year.

It would be the first contraction since 1976, when China was hot by the devastating Tangshan earthquake as well as the tumult from the death of Mao, whose Cultural Revolution threw the economy into disarray for a decade.

The knock on effects for the world are significant. China's factories rely on oil and other commodities from countries like Angola, Sierra Leone and Chile.

Its shoppers love Apple iPhones, Chevrolet, cars and Starbucks coffee. Its construction of new buildings, road and rail lines depend on steel often made iron ore mined in Brazil or Australia.

If people can't be persuaded to start spending money again, ''the demand shock may spread to East Asia and then to Europe and the U.S. - and the world may face a disaster,'' said Cao Heping, a Peking University economist.

When the virus started spreading from Wuhan in January, China moved aggressively to lock down the country, imposing stringent and painful measures on the movement of the people and goods. The economy ground to a stop.

Halting the world's second-largest economy has proved easier than restarting it, raising worries that the economy may continue to stumble for a while. It could be months and months, if not longer, before the country is fully up and running again.

According to official statistics, most factories in China have reopened, after being closed since the Lunar New Year holiday in January. But they are operating well below at two-thirds of their capacity.

Tens of millions of migrants who work in factories are stuck in quarantines or in their hometowns. Then, just after, Chinese state media announced triumphantly one Monday that four busloads of workers had been allowed to leave Hubei Province where the outbreak first emanated.

Chinese consumers aren't buying either. Car dealerships have emptied. In Shanghai, the number of shoppers is still far below normal, from the cheap eateries and budget shops of blue-collar  neighborhoods on the city's south side to the luxury stores of Nanjing Road, the most famous shopping avenue in China.

''The supply problem is fixable. It's bringing people back'' to work from the countryside, said Ker Gibbs, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. ''The demand problem is harder.''

As China's powerful economic engine sputters the rest of the world's expansion is under threat.

The stock market in Australia, which sells vast quantities of iron ore to China, has been among the world's worst performers in recent days.

Germany's automakers depend heavily on the Chinese market have seen their sales wither. Mideast energy producers have struggled, as china has turned away shipments of liquefied natural gas and cut way back on oil consumption.

The Serving and Publishing of Historic Happenings and State-of-the-World economy, continues. The World Students Society thanks authors, Kiz Alderman, and Keith Bradsher.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Students, professors and Teachers of the world.

See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society:  wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Clampdown - Clamours '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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