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Economics in the News - July 26-Aug. 1 How economics impacts our lives on a daily basis

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

"Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." -- Stephen King, author
Vaccination availability against COVID-19 is widening the gap between rich and poor countries, according to the International Monetary Fund. The IMF is projecting a six percent expansion for the world economy this year with the United States and the United Kingdom projected to grow at a seven percent rate.

With nearly 40 percent of populations in advanced nations vaccinated, the IMF is projecting 5.6 percent growth this year – raised by 0.5 percent from the organization’s previous projection. By contrast, emerging and developing countries with less access to the vaccine are projected to grow at a 6.3 percent rate – a decrease of 0.4 percent from the IMF’s previous projection. [The Wall Street Journal]

Some female athletes are turning down lucrative apparel deals with large sponsors for deals with up-and-coming and smaller brands. The athletes say that the smaller brands are more willing to work with them in different ways that are important to them.

While large, established brands such as Nike or Adidas can drastically increase an athlete’s visibility, they do not always put the athlete first. By contrast, the lesser-known brands pay closer attention to the personal stories of the female athletes, put the athletes under less pressure while competing and involve their opinion in new products. [The New York Times]

What is the value of winning a gold medal at the Olympics? The actual gold medal is worth between an estimated $800 and $900, but the medal is only part of the value it creates. The true value in medaling extends beyond the playing field in which they were achieved. In today’s age driven by social media, the opportunities for more earnings are endless.

Medaling at the Olympics provides athletes with platforms to generate a fortune in other ways. Some use their newfound fame in advertisements and endorsements. Others get into coaching, become a TV analyst or become a motivational speaker. More use their platform to raise awareness for a cause they’re passionate about and start foundations. [The Athletic]

The federal ban on evictions expired Saturday, July 31, ending the moratorium that was put in place by the CDC amid surging coronavirus cases to help keep people in their homes during a period of financial uncertainty. Many renters have not received access to the $46 billion that was appropriated by Congress toward emergency rental aid.

Data from Moody’s suggests that more than six million renters are behind on their rent payments. Those six million are in danger of receiving eviction notices in the coming days and weeks. The CDC has warned that eviction may increase the spread of the Delta variant of COVID because it will force people to live in closer proximity and make it harder for families to protect themselves. [The Washington Post]

If you put your mask away, it’s time to once again mask up. The highly transmissible COVID-19 delta variant is causing businesses to backtrack their policies after the CDC reversed course and suggested that even those fully vaccinated return to wearing masks indoors.

Many companies who had planned to bring employees back to the office are reversing course too. Businesses, such as Walmart, recently reversed its policy and will once again require all employees to wear masks in areas impacted by the delta variant. The federal government and more businesses have started to mandate that all employees become vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to regular testing. [NPR]

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All images credited to iStock