Long weekend on the beach... US air travel over Memorial Day weekend was back to three-quarters of 2019 levels. The US economy is roaring back to life and is expected to grow 6.5% this year, its highest rate since 1984. Other rich countries are also rebounding: China’s economy expanded at a record 18.3% last quarter, and the UK is growing at the fastest rate since WWII. Driving recovery:
While rich countries rebound... poor nations are falling further behind. Covid is surging, economies and health systems are crumbling, and poverty is increasing. The pandemic caused the first rise in extreme poverty since the '90s. Emerging markets are on track to vaccinate less than one-third of their citizens this year, versus 72% for developed nations. In Africa, just 0.4% of the 1.5B population has been fully vaxed.
The Great Divide has long-term implications... Developing economies will take years to recover. Before the pandemic, the gap between the developing and the developed world was narrowing. The pandemic reversed that progress, deepening inequality. While the middle class barely budged in the US and in China, it's shrinking in developing countries. Looking ahead: more than half of low-income economies are at risk of fiscal crises, which could destabilize other regions.