🌏 Where’s China’s GDP data?

Plus: How to keep frontline workers from quitting.
Ethnic minority members wave national flags as they watch the opening session of the 20th Chinese Communist Party Congress on a screen in Danzhai, in China's southwestern Guizhou province on October 16, 2022.
Ethnic minority members wave national flags as they watch the opening session of the 20th Chinese Communist Party Congress on a screen in Danzhai, in China's southwestern Guizhou province on October 16, 2022.
Photo: China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP) (Getty Images)

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

China delayed the release of its third-quarter GDP data. The publishing of other economic indicators has also been postponed amid the week-long 20th Party Congress, suggesting numbers are less than ideal (see more below). Meanwhile, the CCP announced almost 5 million of its members have been investigated for corruption over the past 10 years.

Russia carried out drone and missile strikes on Ukraine. Iranian-made “kamikaze” drones hit key infrastructure in the capital and other regions, killing at least eight people and cutting off electricity for hundreds.

The UK will scrap its tax cut plans. Newly-appointed chancellor Jeremy Hunt is ripping up most of the Sept. 23 mini-budget which sent the economy into a tailspin, and has called on skeptical Tory MPs to give prime minister Liz Truss “a chance.”

Nigeria’s floods have displaced 1.3 million people. Over 600 people have died since September as the country faces its worst seasonal floods in a decade.

Swedish parliament backed conservative Ulf Kristersson as prime minister. His three-party coalition also received support from the far-right Sweden Democrats to secure power.

Credit Suisse will pay $495 million to settle a legacy US case. The payment will bring to a close one of its largest remaining residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) suits linked to the 2008 financial crisis.

Apple will suspend its use of Chinese chips. Hardware from Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. has been put on pause following US pressure to sanction China’s tech sector.

What to watch for

The planned release of China’s third-quarter GDP data, scheduled for today, has been postponed—no new date or reason for the unusual delay has been given. 

Economists have predicted economic growth of 3.4% in the July to September period from a year earlier, up from the 0.4% growth slump in the second quarter that was marked by widespread pandemic lockdowns and a worsening real estate crisis.

The indefinite postponement could suggest that the numbers are not looking too rosy and would likely clash with the rousing and confident speech Chinese leader Xi Jinping just gave at the opening of the week-long 20th Communist Party Congress two days ago.

The official target for GDP growth this year, set in March, is “around 5.5%.” By July, officials had reportedly begun softening that goal. Regardless of when China’s GDP figures are eventually released, it’s unlikely that they’ll be anywhere close to that target.

Pop quiz: What food product has had the highest price jump in the US?

Hint: You won’t believe it’s not butter! Margarine is made from vegetable oils, including sunflower oil. A second pop quiz: Which two countries make up nearly three-quarters of the world’s supply of sunflower oil? Hint: One was invaded by the other in February.

Initial worry about vegetable oil scarcity caused consumers to stock up, which, of course, created true scarcity. It doesn’t help that butter’s price has also gone up, which could push homes to channel the 1980s and switch to butter’s hydrogenated oil replicant.

Margarine is just one product that can illustrate how global challenges are elevating food prices. Since Jan. 2020, the consumer price index for food has gone up 20%, outpacing overall core prices by around 15%, US Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows. Need some grocery relief? Try tomatoes.

Image for article titled 🌏 Where’s China’s GDP data?
Graphic: Clarisa Diaz

How to keep your frontline workers from quitting

A years-long global event that needed them, labor shortages, soaring costs of living—frontline employees who must physically show up to do their job, are seriously burned out. Kylie Uvodich, general manager at SafetyCulture, describes five actions employers can take to improve the work (and lives) of frontline workers.

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