SubscribeThe global economy started facing troubles during the coronavirus pandemic recovery, with countries reporting soaring inflation in November 2021. Woes exacerbated in 2022, with growing oil, gas and fuel prices, and were further worsened by the economic aftershock of anti-Russia sanctions.The first half of 2022 was hardly a rally for investors, as global markets recorded drops not seen in over half a century.Three US markets have led the decline, with Dow Jones Industrial losing 15.86% since the start of the year and S&P index – which rates the share performance of 500 top companies – down 21.09% on 1 June. NASDAQ Composite – which evaluates the market performance of US tech companies – suffered the greatest loss after rallying from the pandemic, losing 30.33% of its value this year so far.The numbers indicate US markets’ worst start of a year since 1962.
Beyond The US
The situation seems no better outside the US stock market.The British FTSE 250 lost a staggering 20% in the first two quarters, while the Stoxx Index measuring 600 European companies slid by 17% – a major drop for a relatively stable European stock exchange.European Gas Prices Jump 25% to $1,300 PTCM in One Day Amid Dropping Nord Stream SupplyThe MSCI Asia Pacific Index – which measures companies in five developed and eight emerging Asian markets – likewise dropped by 17.96%, while the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Nikkei Index in turn lost 9.34%.Series of Economic WoesThe global economy landed in a perfect storm in 2022 with a series of factors contributing to its decline and pessimistic outlooks from investors.The first blow was dealt by inflation, which has reached decades-highs in some countries, including the US. It prompted central banks to raise interest rates, which previously rested around zero, in order to boost economic growth. For its part, the US Federal Reserve raised the interest rates from 0 to the range of 1.5% to 1.75% for the first time in 30 years.However, higher interest rates sparked concerns among investors and economists that they might prompt a decline in growth and even recession after seemingly showing signs of recovery from the pandemic.Biden Blames ‘Putin’s Tax’ for Rising Food, Gas Prices in US During Speech on Record InflationAnother blow to the global economic growth was dealt by high oil prices, which nearly reached $130 per barrel in March and June, prompting costs of energy, fuel and transportation to soar worldwide, threatening the economic recovery.The price crisis was only exacerbated by fresh western sanctions against Russia, which resulted in discrepancies in gas supplies to Europe, oil shortages at refineries and the cutting of economic ties with the Russian market. They might have also affected global grain trade as western banks grew increasingly wary of dealing with Russian counterparts over sanctions.