Economy|Business and Economy
The toll of anti-LGBTQ laws, UN SDGs, and Turkey’s wealth amnesty
We round up the numbers from the week’s key economic stories to keep you in the know. 
The United Nations and its member states pledged to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals back in 2015, but while the coronavirus upended that plan, it also offers an opportunity to move closer to a greener world, the head of the United Nations Development Programme tells Al Jazeera this week [File: Mike Segar/Reuters]
By Radmilla Suleymanova
25 Jun 2021
Friday is here yet again and another week is under our belts.
In this week’s “Numbers”, we dive into the economic toll of anti-LGBTQ laws and discrimination. Did you know that countries are losing billions of dollars a year due to homophobia?
US consumers take spending breather in May while inflation climbs
What my 99-year-old friend taught me about the joy of living
Prices of new US homes hit record high as sales fall unexpectedly
Fed mulls 2023 rate hike, COVID Olympic fears, and a sea drone
We also have our finger on the pulse of the United Nations development agenda. While progress on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals has been dealt a setback by the coronavirus pandemic, the man charged with pushing those goals forward says there are “reasons not to be without hope”.
From Turkey, we have an in-depth look at a wealth amnesty law that proponents say is good for the economy, but critics bash as a boon for money laundering.
And moving on to the Middle East, ratings agency Moody’s published a report card on how Gulf economies are progressing with their efforts to diversify their economies away from fossil fuels.
Finally, for all of you who like to spend your weekends looking at property websites, we have a checkup on house prices in the world’s largest economy – the United States – and what is undoubtedly a seller’s market.
That’s the increase in gross domestic product (GDP) per capita associated with a one-point increase for a country on the Global Acceptance Index, a barometer of the level of acceptance of LGBT people.
There is a huge economic toll to anti-LGBTQ laws and discrimination [File: Marton Monus/Reuters]
Some economists estimate countries are losing billions of dollars a year due to homophobia and exclusionary laws that keep members of the LGBTQ community from fully participating in an economy. Al Jazeera’s Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath has that story here.
That’s the year the United Nations and its member states pledged to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) back in 2015. But the coronavirus pandemic has dealt that timetable a serious blow.
Al Jazeera Senior Business Producer Radmilla Suleymanova sat down with Achim Steiner, who heads the United Nations Development Programme and is the person charged with getting the SDGs back on track. Read our exclusive interview with him here.
16.5 percent
That is the latest read on Turkey’s annual inflation rate. The Turkish lira is one of the worst-performing emerging market currencies this year. To help shore up the lira and the economy, the Turkish government passed a “wealth amnesty” law last year that allows individuals and companies to repatriate previously undisclosed cash and other assets held abroad, or declare assets held in Turkey, without incurring a tax penalty.
The Turkish lira is one of the worst-performing emerging market currencies this year [File: Dilara Senkaya/Reuters]
The amnesty, which expires at the end of this month, is controversial. Supporters tout it as a much-needed boost for the nation’s economy, while critics say it provides a convenient loophole for money laundering. Al Jazeera’s K Murat Yildiz has that story here.
That’s the median price of a new home sold in the US last month – and the highest on record. The median price of a previously owned home also hit an all-time high in May.
While prices keep rocketing, sales are declining, as the number of aspiring homeowners outstrips the number of single-family homes for sale – making it a seller’s market. The red-hot housing market is also symptomatic of a bigger economic issue afoot – namely growing inequality. We’ve got that story for you here.
15 percent
That’s how much hydrocarbons account for the GDP of Bahrain, the only Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country where hydrocarbons account for less than 15 percent of GDP, credit ratings agency Moody’s found. As Gulf economies work to end their overreliance on fossil fuels, economic diversification efforts have yielded only “limited” results. Further progress could be held back by lower oil prices and too many blueprints targeting the same non-oil sectors. We’ve got that story here.
Counting the economic cost of anti-LGBTQ laws
Economists estimate countries are losing billions of dollars a year due to homophobia and anti-LGBTQ laws and practices.
25 Jun 2021
Getting SDGs back on track: A conversation with UNDP’s Steiner
Al Jazeera sits down with the UNDP chief who says helping developing countries is in wealthier nations’ self-interest.
24 Jun 2021
Gulf states show ‘limited’ progress kicking oil & gas dependency
Moody’s found that despite ambitious plans to diversify economies, progress for Gulf states is limited.
21 Jun 2021
Iran says GCC trying to derail nuclear talks in Vienna
Vienna talks continue with expert working groups working on measures that need to be taken to full compliance with JCPOA
17 Apr 2021
The next shock in the pipeline for China’s economy: energy crunch
With Chinese ban final on crypto, firms scramble to sever ties
China’s biggest airshow to highlight military prowess
Should digital currencies be regulated?
Germany’s centre-left secures narrow win in end-of-era election
Erdogan: Turkey could buy more Russian S-400s despite US warnings
Nationwide strike by India farmers a year after farm laws enacted
Serbian troops on heightened alert at Kosovo border
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