Weekly Report – August 31, 2022

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Highlight of the Week

China’s Economic Woes Drag On With Factory Disruptions, Property Slump

  • Severe COVID lockdowns and power outages in China are impeding economic recovery. China has seen slow economic growth throughout the past year. Despite stimulus efforts by the Chinese government, many experts have lowered their projected growth rate for China.
  • Additionally, China’s real estate market continues to struggle. House prices have fallen and show no sign of recovery. Sales at the top 100 property developers have fallen by roughly 30%.

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Russia Halts Nord Stream Gas Pipeline, Ratcheting Up Pressure on Europe

  • Russia shut down the main source for natural gas to Europe for Maintenance. Many in Western Europe views this as the most recent act of economic war from the Kremlin. Western Europe nations are trying to fill their gas storage facilities before winter. Russia states that the stoppage is due to technical issues, but Western nations view this act as hostile.
  • Increased pipeline imports from Norway and liquified natural gas from the US have strengthened Europe’s position going into winter. Higher gas prices have also caught industrial demand. Additionally, Russia cannot stop the gas flow forever or else Gazprom the Russian energy company could suffer significant losses down the road.

Toyota to Put Additional Billions of Dollars Into EV Batteries

  • Toyota plans to invest billions of dollars in North Carolina and Japan to ramp up its EV battery capacity. Toyota was very cautious around EVs up until last December.
  • Toyota states that Hybrid gas and electric vehicles are still a better short-term solution to emission reduction. Hybrid vehicles make up 30% of Toyota’s shipments for the period.
  • Toyota is just one of many Japanese motor companies ramping up EV production.
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