Economics in the News -- July 13-19 How Economics impacts our lives every day.

Economics impacts our lives every day. Below are some of the top storylines from this past week related to economics.

"There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: make the best quality goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." -- Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company.
A surge in coronavirus cases has erased hopes of a rapid economic recovery from the coronavirus.

The economy remains limited with businesses still closed or operating at limited capacities and is certain to remain so in the months and years ahead. Economists say that there are steps that the federal government can take in order to limit the economic damage. [The New York Times]

While many major world economies are still struggling worldwide, China – the second largest economy in the world – expanded at a 3.2 percent rate in the second quarter.

The expansion comes after a contraction of 6.8 percent in the first quarter. The Chinese rebound provides hope of a similar rebound in the U.S., but it also provides a warning. Much of the rebound was generated by federal investments. While people have been less willing to spend on food at restaurants or travel. [The New York Times]

The International Monetary Fund [IMF] has predicted that the United States economy will contract at a rate of 6.6 percent due to economic toll of the lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The IMF is now projecting a 3.9 percent growth in the U.S. economy in 2021. [Associated Press]

Companies within the oil industry are used to the roller coaster of prices, but prices may remain low for a while with fewer people traveling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Historically, when the price of crude oil is low, mergers occur such as in 2008 when Exxon and Mobil became ExxonMobil, BP merged with Amoco and Chevron merged with Texaco. Many producers are unable to earn a profit at these low prices and may be forced to go out of business or be acquired by a larger company. But, while there are many opportunities, the uncertainties of the pandemic make an acquisition very risky. [NPR]

The days of filling up at an all-you-can-eat buffet may be limited.

Restaurants that rely on buffets are struggling with the health and safety restrictions required of them due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many buffets are innovating new ways to satisfy customers. Buffets accounted for $5 billion in restaurant sales in the U.S. in 2019, accounting for 1 percent of the restaurant business. [BBC]


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