🌍 Global inflation deepens

🌍 Global inflation deepens

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Here’s what you need to know

Global inflation deepened. US consumer prices, up 8.5% year over year in March, were supercharged by soaring fuel costs (see more below). Meanwhile, the UK hit 7% inflation, and India 6.95%.

Joe Biden described Russia’s actions in Ukraine as “genocide.” Peace talks are still at a stalemate, while the port city of Mariupol appears close to surrender.

Mexican truckers are blocking access to the US border. They’ve been protesting since Monday against lengthy delays caused by increased safety inspections.

City officials in Shanghai are cracking down on lockdown violators. Millions are still confined to their homes and face food shortages, as China’s economy counts the cost of its covid-zero policy.

LVMH is shrugging off record-high inflation and war. The French luxury company reported strong first quarter results yesterday, with revenue totaling $19.5 billion, up 29% from last year.

Flutterwave’s CEO faces allegations of financial misconduct. Olugbenga Agboola, founder and boss of Africa’s most valuable startup, is accused of dubious business and personal practices.

What to watch for

Bed Bath & Beyond reports its latest earnings today. Wall Street has low expectations. However, if you’re wondering what to expect of the stock in the longer term, you might peruse Reddit rather than the financial press.

The US home goods retailer struggled to capitalize on rising spending on home products during the pandemic. Its perhaps over-decluttered aisles were haunted by supply chain issues, among other problems, as its CEO executed a transformation strategy.

But BBBY is a “resurrected boomer” meme stock. And last month, Ryan Cohen—the activist investor, meme stock king, Chewy co-founder, and GameStop chairman—revealed his more than 10% stake in the company, then successfully negotiated for three board seats for his RC Venture fund. Cohen arrived with a list of renovations to make, including selling off Buy Buy Baby. Looking ahead, the stock’s solid meme stonk status means that virtually anything could happen.

What to do with all that space

a city skyline at dusk with several office skyscrapers with lights on
Could LA’s business district become more residential?
Image: Reuters/Mario Anzuon/Files

More companies are embracing remote or hybrid work and leaving their offices behind. That’s meant cities are seeing some of their highest vacancy rates for downtown offices in 30 years.

What are all those empty spaces being used for? In the US, cities are turning some of them into apartments and living spaces ripe for a BB&B overhaul, while others are becoming warehouses. We polled the Quartz global newsroom, and think these are the most likely alternatives:

  • TV and movie film sets
  • Vertical food courts
  • Trader Joe’s parking spaces
  • Giant escape room complexes and/or laser tag venues
  • Grow houses
  • Museums
  • Cheese caves
  • The metaverse 😜

What do you think? Send your ideas to hi@qz.com.

Everything you need to know about inflation

“Can you believe how much I just spent on…” is an increasingly normal conversation starter in many parts of the world. We’ve compiled a list to help you understand what’s happening and why.

🤔 The why: Gas prices, not supply chains, are the main culprit in the US’s inflation uptick

🤕 The pain points: Where Americans are seeing the biggest price increases

🧐 The hidden cost: How companies are hiding inflation without charging you more

🥺 The big question: Will high inflation lead to bigger pay increases?

🥱 The other “-ation”: Why economists are talking about stagflation

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Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, #%&!@ earnings reports, and litigious forests to hi@qz.com. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Hasit Shah, Lila MacLellan, Camille Squires, Susan Howson, and Morgan Haefner.