Hard Numbers: Peru declares crime emergency, EU cuts Somalia aid, Chinese weddings dwindle, McCarthy tests his majority, oil prices surge
160,200: Peruvian President Dina Boluarte declared a state of emergency in two districts of the capital, Lima, and one in the northern city of Talara amid a devastating wave of violent crime. Lima police collected 160,200 crime reports last year, up 33% from 2021, part of a larger spike in violence in South America.
7 million: The European Union has suspended funding for the World Food Program’s operations in Somalia, which last year amounted to over $7 million, after a United Nations investigation discovered widespread theft by local power brokers, armed groups, and even aid workers themselves. The graft has macabre costs: Somalia barely avoided a famine last year amid a drought that killed 43,000 people — half of them children under 5.
6.8 million: Love is decidedly not in the air in China, as the country registered just 6.8 million weddings in 2022, a drop of some 800,000 compared to 2021 and the lowest figure on record. Meanwhile, even those who are tying the knot are more hesitant to have children, a factor contributing to China’s first population decline in 60 years, and a major long term headache for policy planners in Beijing.
4: US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is gambling that he can push through a temporary spending bill to avoid a government shutdown, despite fierce blowback from within his own GOP caucus. His margin is slim: he can afford to lose just only 4 GOP votes if he wants the measure to pass.
95: The price of oil hit $95 dollars per barrel, climbing some 26% for the quarter as Saudi Arabia and Russia have cut production to boost prices. Higher oil prices are likely to prop up inflation, complicating matters not only for households, but also for central bankers who had been hoping to ease off of interest rate hikes sooner than later.