COVID-19 has been a disruptive element in all sectors, upending societal norms and fundamentally reorganizing economies. While some of these changes are temporary, others may endure past the end of the pandemic.
In 2018, the United States declared its intention to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a 192-member body which regulates global mail service. The precipitating event was the growth of e-commerce and a shift for the U.S. from net sender to net receiver of international mail.
When I was visiting Cape Town during my recent survey, it was hard to believe that a water crisis had threatened the city so severely in 2017 and 2018 that city residents faced water restrictions as low as fifty liters of water per-person-per-day.
During the August survey of Harare, our visit found the Zimbabwean economy in a state of transition. This June, after a decade of using a mix of approaches but primarily relying on the U.S. dollar for transactions, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announced that a new Zimbabwean dollar (ZWL), also known as the Zimdollar, was the only acceptable form of payment.
Economic liberalization in Myanmar over the past decade has brought significant change to the availability of goods and services in Yangon. While expatriates once shopped on home leave or R&R trips, now Mango or Nike are available at the nearest mall.
Cost of living vs Minimum wage: On January 1, 2019, the monthly national minimum wage increased from 13,430 Uruguayan pesos (UYU) to 15,000 UYU, an almost 12% annual increase. Similarly, the minimum wage had been raised 9.5% the previous year.
During AIRINC’s November onsite surveys in Korea, aspirin was still absent from pharmacy shelves. The 500mg tablets have not been available for purchase since December 2016, when the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety determined that the dissolution rate did not meet its standards.
The Turkish lira has had a volatile year and an especially tumultuous past week. In July, the Central Bank of Turkey alarmed investors by keeping interest rates steady even as CPI annual inflation rose to double digits.
Geneva, Switzerland Best known for its banking sector and the numerous international organizations headquartered there, Geneva is also regularly cited as one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Countries that rely heavily on oil resources to drive prosperity have long understood the challenge of government funding amid volatile global commodity prices.