Covid-19: Uneven vaccination rates globally are creating a new economic divide

In the 1970s the fortunes of the world economy, in all its infinite variety and unfathomable complexity, seemed to turn on one solitary product: oil.

Exported by a narrow clique of countries, this vital input was hostage to ferocious political forces. Today the world’s economic prospects similarly depend on another all-important input, vaccines, which are also narrowly produced, delicately political – and unevenly distributed.

Widespread vaccination is helping America to boom, pushing core inflation to its highest rate since 1992. But delays in buying, making and deploying shots have left many parts of the world vulnerable to new virus outbreaks and economic setbacks.

The Federal Reserve, which meets on June 15 and 16, sets monetary policy chiefly with America in mind. But its decisions and deliberations reverberate globally and could raise the borrowing costs of economies on the other side of the vaccine divide.

* Economists predict NZ…

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