Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2021
- Many of the new habits consumers formed during the coronavirus pandemic are here to stay, market researcher Euromonitor International predicts.
- In 2021 consumers will be demanding, anxious, and creative in dealing with change, Euromonitor forecasts in its annual trend report.
- Though some of this year’s trends are directly related to Covid-19—like heightened safety concerns and demand for more open-air spaces—these shifts will continue after the pandemic wanes, says Alison Angus, Euromonitor’s head of lifestyle research.
- Euromonitor, a global market-research firm based in London, has released its forecasts since 2010.
- Last year, just three months after publishing its January 2020 predictions, it revised its expectations to reflect dramatic shifts in consumer behavior spurred by the pandemic, flagging new trends like the home’s transformation into a multifunctional refuge used for work, school, leisure and exercise.
France, Once a Vaccine Pioneer, Is Top Skeptic in Covid-19 Pandemic
- Audrey Courreges’s mistrust of new coronavirus vaccines runs so deep that she’s told the nursing home where she works, in the southern French town of Beziers, that she won’t take the vaccinations or administer them.
- A big reason: French officials are running up against deeply ingrained opposition that has made France among the world’s top vaccine skeptics.
- An Ipsos poll conducted in December found that France ranked at the bottom of 15 countries on willingness to take a Covid-19 vaccine, with only 40% of the public saying they wanted the shot.
- Polls show that more than three-quarters of nursing home workers—who are among the government’s first target groups for the vaccine—don’t want to take it.
- The resistance has historical roots in the 19th century, when antivaccination groups campaigned against modern inoculation techniques discovered by Frenchman Louis Pasteur.
Sweeping vaccine plan announced, as U.S. stockpile empties
- U.K. health authorities rolled out the first doses of a widely tested and independently reviewed COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, starting a global immunization program that is expected to gain momentum as more serums win approval.
- Approval status: On December 18, the FDA granted emergency approval to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, a day after an advisory panel decided 20-0, with one abstention, that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks, such as the mild side effects reported in their clinical trial.
- The company also announced plans to test the safety and efficacy of a booster shot that would be delivered a year after the first pair of vaccine doses, according to CNBC.
- On November 17, preliminary results from Sinovac’s early trials, published in The Lancet, reported that the vaccine was safe but produced only a moderate immune response, with lower levels of antibodies compared to those in patients who have recovered from COVID-19.
Argentina Is a Testing Ground for Moscow’s Global Vaccine Drive
- Russia is selling millions of doses of its homegrown Sputnik V vaccine abroad, making it a major supplier of a shot that could give Moscow a valuable slice of the global Covid-19 vaccine market and potentially earn Russia geopolitical clout in the developing world.
- Moscow approved Sputnik V for domestic use in August before finishing trials.
- Sputnik V, named for the Soviet satellite launched into orbit during the Cold War, ranks third in the world by doses ordered by middle- and low-income countries, according to Duke University’s Global Health Innovation Center, ahead of U.S. drugmakers Pfizer Inc.
- Eight countries outside Russia have authorized the shot for emergency use.
- Still, Sputnik V hasn’t been approved by Western health authorities or received authorization from the WHO, which many developing countries rely on for vetting vaccines.
Your Movie Is About to Be…Delayed, Again
- LOS ANGELES—When it comes to the movie release calendar, Hollywood studios are stuck in a “Groundhog Day” routine of delays.
- A fresh batch of films scheduled for theatrical release in February, March or April are being postponed or sold to streaming services as cases of Covid-19 stay at high levels across the country.
- Executives say to expect a cascade of rescheduling that stretches into the summer moviegoing season.
- Hollywood executives anticipate more major releases to follow, including the twice-delayed James Bond installment “No Time to Die,” currently planned for an April release that now seems a remote possibility.
- prequel “The King’s Man,” both scheduled for release within the next two months, could get bumped as well.
- For his part, he has scheduled one of his studio’s biggest 2021 movies, “Top Gun: Maverick,” to premiere July 2, and said he doesn’t expect that date to change.
For Joe Biden, Daunting—and Unprecedented—Challenges
- Every new president and Congress face their own particular set of challenges, which tend at the outset to feel both unique and daunting—though sometimes they actually aren’t as new and momentous as they seem.
- Such, however, isn’t the case as President-elect Joe Biden and a reconfigured Congress take office.
- It isn’t hyperbole to describe the tasks facing Washington’s new political alignment as unprecedented.
- Mr. Biden starts off with two broad problems no modern president has ever faced: a continuing pandemic and a predecessor who has worked tirelessly to convince Americans that the past election was illegitimate.
- On top of that, Mr. Biden also will be taking office on the steps of a Capitol still bearing the scars left by a mob of Trump supporters set on stopping him from taking office.
China Is the Only Major Economy to Report Economic Growth for 2020
- BEIJING—China’s economy expanded by 2.3% in 2020, roaring back from a historic contraction in the early months of the year to become the only major world economy to grow in what was a pandemic-ravaged year.
- China’s economy, the world’s second largest, finished the year on a high note.
- Gross domestic product rose 6.5% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday.
- Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected growth of 6% in the fourth quarter and an expansion of 2.2% for the full year.
- By comparison, China’s GDP rose by 3.2% and 4.9% in the second and third quarters of the year, respectively, after suffering a historic 6.8% contraction in the first.
Will Covid-19 Shake Up Capitalism?
- The Covid crisis both accelerated demands for changes to the economic system and demonstrated that governments can spend freely to help those in trouble when they wish.
- To answer the question, it is worth looking back a decade to the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
- Occupy Wall Street was the protest group du jour, and governments had just allocated trillions of dollars to rescue the financial system.
- This time might be different, because the past decade has prepared the ground for a shift to more interventionist government.
- The stunning shareholder returns of the past decade hang in the balance.
- Even the Business Roundtable, the main U.S. corporate lobbying group, signed up for stakeholder capitalism, the idea of paying more attention to the needs of workers, local communities and the environment.
Companies Race to Develop Drugs That Stay Ahead of Coronavirus Mutations
- Drugmakers are racing to develop a new generation of Covid-19 medicines to make them easier to give to patients and to stay ahead of virus mutations that could make some current drugs less effective.
- After catching Covid-19, President Trump was treated with one of the drugs and credited it with his speedy recovery.
- But those concerns have given way to frustration that the medicines are going unused because of challenges in administering the drugs, which can require about an hour of preparation time before the patient arrives, an hour-long infusion and one hour of monitoring to ensure patients don’t suffer allergic reactions.
- To reduce the logistical burden and help get patients treated sooner, researchers are working on new antibody drugs that can be given with quick jabs in the arm, similar to flu shots.
Covid-19 Vaccines Are Getting Stuck at the Last Step
- In South Texas, a man slept in his car for two nights straight so he wouldn’t lose his place in a line of hundreds of people at a mass-vaccination event.
- The biggest challenges in America’s Covid-19 vaccination effort have turned out to be getting shots into the arms of the right people.
- As of Friday morning, some 31 million vaccine doses had been distributed nationwide, but only about 12 million had been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- The federal government shipped those doses to states around the country, with states establishing their own criteria for who should get the vaccine first.
- Jeff Duchin, public health officer for Seattle and King County, Wash., said the federal government succeeded in helping fund and purchase vaccines that were developed in record-breaking time, but said it didn’t do nearly enough to ensure that the “last-mile” distribution efforts would be successful.