Russia’s e-commerce trade in the aftermath of the 2022 invasion: Evidence from high-frequency data (Vox EU)

Vox EU: Russia’s e-commerce trade in the aftermath of the 2022 invasion: Evidence from high-frequency data. “Whether economic sanctions against Russia have real effects has been increasingly called into question. This column suggests that changes in e-commerce can demonstrate whether and how the 2022 Western sanctions contributed to de-linking Russia from the West. An analysis of trends in cross-border international online retail based on digitally recorded daily transactions data from 2,288 international and Russian companies shows substantial declines in Russia’s e-commerce transactions. About five weeks after the war started, revenues from e-commerce imports to Russia had fallen by half, with no signs of compensation by Russian retailers in the sample studied.”

REITI: Did COVID-19 create more zombie firms in Japan?

REITI: Did COVID-19 create more zombie firms in Japan?. “With low levels of firm exits, it appears that Japanese firms have weathered the pandemic. However, aggregate firm exit rates mask developing corporate vulnerabilities due to: (i) weaker cleansing mechanism with the decline in the exit of unhealthy firms; and (ii) increased borrowing, especially in long-term debt. The pockets of vulnerabilities are concentrated in sectors most affected by the pandemic, with a sharp increase in the number of firms with solvency issues (‘zombie firms’), which would have otherwise been healthy firms without the pandemic.”

Marketplace: What social media advertising tells us about inflation

Marketplace: What social media advertising tells us about inflation. “Social media companies’ earnings reports are coming out this week, including those from Twitter and Facebook, and advertising accounts for a big piece of their business. But when Snap Inc. reported earnings last week, the company flagged problems that could hurt demand for ads. The issues are familiar — supply chain snags and inflation.”

Indiana University: Digital timeline tracks ‘Making and Unmaking of Black Wealth’ to aid racial justice conversations

Indiana University: Digital timeline tracks ‘Making and Unmaking of Black Wealth’ to aid racial justice conversations. ‘Land, Wealth, Liberation: The Making and Unmaking of Black Wealth in the United States’ is an interactive timeline with photos, videos, historical information and resources for educators covering 1820 to 2020. The project explores the ways African Americans in the U.S. have produced wealth, and the factors that have affected their ability to build and maintain wealth and access economic opportunities.”

Fortune: Russia’s social media shutdown is expensive, costing its economy more than $860 million so far this year

Fortune: Russia’s social media shutdown is expensive, costing its economy more than $860 million so far this year. “Russia’s social media shutdowns have cost the country’s economy $861 million in 2022, highlighting the steep price of its efforts to silence online dissent since the Ukraine War began. The findings, by the independent research firm Top10VPN.com, also show that the economic impact of Russia’s online censorship exceeds that of all other countries.”

New York Times: Covid, inflation and a loss of aid crimped American incomes in January.

New York Times: Covid, inflation and a loss of aid crimped American incomes in January.. “January was also the first month since mid-2021 in which parents did not receive payments under the expanded child tax credit, which expired at the end of last year. Income from government programs fell 1.3 percent last month. Yet despite the crimp in incomes, Americans continued to spend. Consumer spending rose 2.1 percent in January. Even after adjusting for inflation, spending was up 1.5 percent.”

CBS News: For most Americans, owning a home is now a distant dream

CBS News: For most Americans, owning a home is now a distant dream. “Nationwide, there are only about 250,000 homes currently for sale that are considered affordable for households with between $75,000 and $100,000 in annual income — a sharp decline from the roughly 656,000 available homes prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent analysis by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found. This means there are now about 65 households in that income bracket for one listing, up from 24 households in 2019.”

BBC: US consumer prices rise at fastest rate since 1982

BBC: US consumer prices rise at fastest rate since 1982 . “Price rises in the US accelerated by more than expected last month, pushing annual inflation up to 7.5% – the highest rate since 1982. Food and energy costs helped to drive the increases, which left few spending categories untouched. The rising prices are squeezing household finances as wages fail to keep pace.”

Berkeley News: Tracking inequality in real time — a powerful new tool from Berkeley economists

Berkeley News: Tracking inequality in real time — a powerful new tool from Berkeley economists. “UC Berkeley economists have launched a powerful new web tool that allows users to track, almost in real time, how economic growth and public policy affect the distribution of income and wealth among classes in the United States. The website, Realtime Inequality, is an extension of the pioneering work done by Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman that explores how law and policy in the U.S. and worldwide result in profound inequality in the distribution of economic resources.”

Tracking business dynamism during the COVID-19 pandemic: New cross-country evidence and visualisation tool (Vox EU)

Vox EU: Tracking business dynamism during the COVID-19 pandemic: New cross-country evidence and visualisation tool. “Business dynamism is key for creative destruction and to foster resource reallocation – both crucial elements of long-run economic growth. This column uses a new data visualisation tool to reveal large sector- and country-level heterogeneity in the impact on business dynamism of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020 and in recovery. Initially, firm entry fell sharply in all countries, but the pace of recovery varied across countries. Bankruptcies fell and remained below pre-crisis levels well into 2021. The tool allows users to monitor the evolution of key indicators over the recovery period, keeping track of sector-specific patterns.”

Associated Press: Fed survey finds economy growing modestly despite COVID

Associated Press: Fed survey finds economy growing modestly despite COVID. “The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the economy was growing at a modest pace at the end of 2021 but was still being held back by ongoing supply-chain disruptions and labor shortages. In its latest survey of business conditions around the country, the Fed said its 12 regional banks found that the economy was continuing to grow. But many regions reported a sudden pullback in spending on leisure travel, hotels and restaurants because of the rapid spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.”

Purdue University: Dashboard shows ‘Achilles’ heel’ of food supply chain

Purdue University: Dashboard shows ‘Achilles’ heel’ of food supply chain. “[Jayson] Lusk, who leads Purdue’s Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability, and Ahmad Zia Wahdat, a postdoctoral research associate at the center, developed an interactive dashboard to share their findings. A working paper posted on SSRN details their work. The dashboard teases out the inputs needed for different food industries, provides the share of total cost of upstream inputs and labor, and evaluates the risk of an industry based on a diversity score. The score ranges from a value of zero to one, with higher scores indicating less vulnerability.”

Politico: Covid’s deadly trade-offs, by the numbers: How each state has fared in the pandemic

Politico: Covid’s deadly trade-offs, by the numbers: How each state has fared in the pandemic. “POLITICO’s State Pandemic Scorecard pulls together what we know so far about how states fared during the pandemic, and how the choices each made impacted its residents, businesses and schools. The scorecard groups available data for policy outcomes into four categories — health, economy, social well-being and education — and generates scores in each area between zero and 100.”

Bloomberg: Will the Stars Ever Make Money in This Town Again?

Bloomberg: Will the Stars Ever Make Money in This Town Again?. “Over nearly two years, as Covid-19 has kept people away from movie theaters and in front of their TVs, the economics of Hollywood have been transformed. Digital streaming apps have displaced the box office, and that in turn is changing how everyone in the business gets paid — even stars in the wealthiest reaches of show business.”