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Tightening financial conditions will slow global economic growth and inflation – IHS Markit

Recognizing that high inflation will not quietly go
away, the world’s major central banks are toughening their

Gradualism has given way to super-sized interest rate increases
and a clearer resolve to restrain actual and expected inflation,
despite adverse economic consequences. The more hawkish rhetoric
and policy actions have unsettled financial markets, driving up
term yields and risk spreads. In turn, equity prices have fallen in
an environment of weak corporate earnings and rising interest
(discount) rates. Meanwhile, the US dollar’s exchange value has
soared in response to rising US bond yields and investor flight to
safety; this is adding to inflation and financial stresses in
emerging and developing countries.

With financial conditions deteriorating, the economic
outlook for 2023 has dimmed.

We now project global real GDP growth to slow from 5.8% in 2021
to 2.8% in 2022 and 2.0% in 2023. The 2023 growth rate is revised
down 0.3 percentage point from last month’s forecast, reflecting
weaker outlooks for the world’s largest economies—the eurozone,
mainland China, Japan, and United States. The global situation can
be characterized as a growth recession, in which real GDP growth
falls short of potential growth (currently near 3.0%) and
unemployment rises. The period of weakest growth and highest
vulnerability will be in late 2022 and early 2023, when a new major
shock could tip the world economy into recession. While our
forecast does not anticipate a global recession, parts of the world
will experience recessions, including Western Europe and parts of
Latin America (e.g., Argentina and Chile).

Global Flash Global GDP forecast

If price inflation diminishes over the next two years,
approaching central bank targets, monetary policies will ease and
economic growth will revive. We project global real GDP to pick up
to 2.9% in both 2024 and 2025. The strongest gains will be in Asia
Pacific (4.6% in 2024 and 4.2% in 2025), led by India, Indonesia,
Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bangladesh. These countries will
benefit from regional free-trade agreements, competitive costs, and
efficient supply chains.

Inflation will subside as demand cools and supply
conditions improve.

Commodity prices drifted lower in early
September in response to rising interest rates, softening global
demand, and dollar appreciation. As of mid-September, our Materials
Price Index has fallen 23% from its early March peak. The retreat
in commodity prices is filtering downstream to intermediate and
finished products and will bring some relief to consumers in the
year ahead. Meanwhile, rising unemployment will restrain increases
in wage rates and prices of labor-intensive services. After picking
up from 3.9% in 2021 to 7.6% in 2022, global consumer price
inflation should ease to 4.8% in 2023 and 2.8% in 2024.

Western Europe faces a winter recession with high energy
costs and limited energy supplies.

After robust, consumer-led growth in the first two quarters of
2022, the eurozone economy stalled in the third quarter. The
temporary boost from pent-up demand for consumer services appears
to be fading, giving way to headwinds from energy supply and price
issues, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, tightening financial
conditions, and deteriorating confidence. With consumer price
inflation approaching 10% y/y this fall, we now expect that the
European Central Bank will raise its benchmark policy rate to a
high of 2.75% by February 2023 and hold it at this level for a
year. We expect eurozone real GDP to decline in late 2022 and early
2023, as households and businesses contend with soaring energy
bills and potential energy disruptions. Natural gas supply
curtailment would pose risks to Europe’s electric power, basic
metals, chemicals, plastics, glass, and ceramics industries. We
expect eurozone annual real GDP growth to slow from 5.2% in 2021 to
3.1% this year and 0.0% in 2023 before recovering to 1.9% in

The US economy faces an extended period of tepid growth
and rising unemployment.

Massive fiscal and monetary stimulus during the COVID-19
pandemic have sent US inflation to a four-decade high. Despite a
slight easing since June, consumer price inflation remained high at
8.3% y/y in August. The Federal Reserve is now determined to bring
inflation back to its 2% target and will likely raise the federal
funds rate to 4% or higher by the end of 2022. The US economy is
still expected to avert a recession, as tight labor markets support
sustained growth in consumer spending. However, rising financing
costs will lead to significant declines in residential and
commercial construction. We expect real GDP growth to slow from
5.7% in 2021 to 1.7% in 2022 and 0.9% in 2023 before edging up to
1.3% in 2024. With growth falling short of potential, the US
unemployment rate will likely rise from 3.7% in July to 4.7% in

Mainland China economic growth remains

After a setback related to COVID-19 lockdowns in the second
quarter, mainland China’s economy is expanding again. Industrial
production rose 4.2% y/y in August, while services output increased
just 1.8% y/y. Growth will likely remain constrained by the
government’s dynamic zero-COVID policy, a deep property sector
recession, and weakening export demand. The lift from stimulus
policies will be limited, as the government remains cautious owing
to concerns about high debt leverage. We project real GDP growth to
slow from 8.1% in 2021 to 3.3% in 2022 before picking up to 4.5% in
2023 and 5.5% in 2025.

Bottom line

Tightening financial conditions will lead to a further slowdown
in global economic growth, putting expansions in vulnerable regions
at risk and deepening anticipated recessions in Europe. The
combination of subpar economic growth, rising unemployment, and
improving supply chain conditions will cause inflation to subside
over the next two years.

Posted 22 September 2022 by Sara Johnson, Executive Director – Economic Research, S&P Global Market Intelligence

This article was published by S&P Global Market Intelligence and not by S&P Global Ratings, which is a separately managed division of S&P Global.

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Engineers discover new process for synthetic material growth, enabling soft robots that grow like plants: Soft robots can navigate hard-to-reach places like pipes or inside the human body – Science Daily

An interdisciplinary team of University of Minnesota Twin Cities scientists and engineers has developed a first-of-its-kind, plant-inspired extrusion process that enables synthetic material growth. The new approach will allow researchers to build better soft robots that can navigate hard-to-reach places, complicated terrain, and potentially areas within the human body.

The paper is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

“This is the first time these concepts have been fundamentally demonstrated,” said Chris Ellison, a lead author of the paper and professor in the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. “Developing new ways of manufacturing are paramount for the competitiveness of our country and for bringing new products to people. On the robotic side, robots are being used more and more in dangerous, remote environments, and these are the kinds of areas where this work could have an impact.”

Soft robotics is an emerging field where robots are made of soft, pliable materials as opposed to rigid ones. Soft growing robots can create new material and “grow” as they move. These machines could be used for operations in remote areas where humans can’t go, such as inspecting or installing tubes underground or navigating inside the human body for biomedical applications.

Current soft growing robots drag a trail of solid material behind them and can use heat and/or pressure to transform that material into a more permanent structure, much like how a 3D printer is fed solid filament to produce its shaped product. However, the trail of solid material gets more difficult to pull around bends and turns, making it hard for the robots to navigate terrain with obstacles or winding paths.

The University of Minnesota team solved this problem by developing a new means of extrusion, a process where material is pushed through an opening to create a specific shape. Using this new process allows the robot to create its synthetic material from a liquid instead of a solid.

“We were really inspired by how plants and fungi grow,” said Matthew Hausladen, first author of the paper and a Ph.D. student in the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. “We took the idea that plants and fungi add material at the end of their bodies, either at their root tips or at their new shoots, and we translated that to an engineering system.”

Plants use water to transport the building blocks that get transformed into solid roots as the plant grows outward. The researchers were able to mimic this process with synthetic material using a technique called photopolymerization, which uses light to transform liquid monomers into a solid material. Using this technology, the soft robot can more easily navigate obstacles and winding paths without having to drag any solid material behind it.

This new process also has applications in manufacturing. Since the researchers’ technique only uses liquid and light, operations that use heat, pressure, and expensive machinery to create and shape materials might not be needed.

“A very important part of this project is that we have material scientists, chemical engineers, and robotic engineers all involved,” Ellison said. “By putting all of our different expertise together, we really brought something unique to this project, and I’m confident that not one of us could have done this alone. This is a great example of how collaboration enables scientists to address really hard fundamental problems while also having a technological impact.”

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation.

In addition to Ellison and Hausladen, the research team included University of Minnesota Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science researchers Boran Zhao (postdoctoral researcher) and Lorraine Francis (College of Science and Engineering Distinguished Professor); and University of Minnesota Department of Mechanical Engineering researchers Tim Kowalewski (associate professor) and Matthew Kubala (graduate student).

Video of a soft growing robot navigating a tortuous path:

Video explaining the idea behind the plant-inspired research:

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Minnesota. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Ultra-diffuse galaxy F8D1 has a giant tidal tail, observations find –

Ultra-diffuse galaxy F8D1 has a giant tidal tail, observations find
The RGB star count density across the HSC image. A giant tidal stream can be seen emanating from F8D1, which is located at the South-Western edge. The stream can be traced for more than a degree towards the North-East, in the direction of NGC 2976 and M81. Credit: Žemaitis et al., 2022.

Using the Subaru telescope and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), an international team of astronomers has observed an ultra-diffuse galaxy known as F8D1. The observational campaign has revealed an enormous tidal stream emanating from this galaxy. The finding was presented September 21 on the arXiv pre-print server.

Ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs) are extremely-low-density galaxies. The largest UDGs have sizes similar to the Milky Way, but have only about 1% as many stars as our home galaxy. The mystery of UDGs is still baffling scientists as they try to explain why these faint but large galaxies are not ripped apart by the tidal field of their host clusters.

Located some 12 million in the M81 Group ( in the constellations Ursa Major and Camelopardalis), F8D1 is the closest UDG to the Milky Way. It has a large effective radius of approximately 8,150 light years and luminosity at a level of about 40 million solar luminosities.

Although F8D1 was discovered in 1998, it was poorly studied in the past. Therefore, a group of astronomers led by Rokas Žemaitis of the University of Edinburgh, U.K., employed the Subaru telescope’s Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) imager and the MegaCam imager on CFHT to investigate this UDG, hoping to get more insights into its properties.

“We have used data from Subaru/HSC and CFHT/MegaCam to revisit the properties of F8D1, a peculiar dwarf satellite companion of M81 [Messier 81 galaxy in the M81 Group],” the researchers wrote in the paper.

The observations detected a giant stream of stars which extends from F8D1 to the North-West, in the direction of galaxies NGC 2976 and M81. This feature can be seen on both sides of NGC 2976. The stream curves about 0.8 arcminutes West of the main body at small radii, and changes direction at larger radii, curving about 1.1 arcminutes to the East at distances of 40–60 arcminutes.

The newfound tidal stream was estimated to be at least 195,000 light years in size. Given that it contains 30–36% of the main body light, it indicates that F8D1 is undergoing heavy tidal disruption. The astronomers assume that the most likely cause of the tidal disruption of this UDG is the central galaxy M81.

According to the researchers, the finding that F8D1 is in an advanced state of tidal disruption has implications for both the dynamical evolution of the M81 Group and for the origin of galaxies showcasing UDG properties.

“In the first instance, F8D1 has likely played a hitherto unrecognized role in the interaction history of the group and it will be important to include its effects in future modeling efforts…. Furthermore, the severe tidal shredding of F8D1 is likely the origin of its present-day extremely diffuse nature, and not any peculiar properties it might have had at birth,” the authors of the paper concluded.

Explore further

Creating ultra-diffuse galaxies

More information:
Rokas Žemaitis et al, A Tale of a Tail: A Tidally-Disrupting Ultra-Diffuse Galaxy in the M81 Group. arXiv:2209.09713v2 [astro-ph.GA],

© 2022 Science X Network

Ultra-diffuse galaxy F8D1 has a giant tidal tail, observations find (2022, September 28)
retrieved 28 September 2022

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

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There’s been a big rise in hackers targeting Google Chrome – doing this one thing can help protect you – ZDNet


Image: Getty/gilaxia

Cyberattacks targeting vulnerabilities in internet browsers are on the rise – with Google Chrome increasingly in the hackers’ sights.

According to analysis by cybersecurity researchers at WatchGuard, the second quarter of this year saw an overall 23% increase in malware attacks against browsers – Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer – compared with the previous quarter.

Much of that increase has been driven by a rise in cyberattacks on Chrome: according to the WatchGuard Threat Lab Internet Security Report, attacks targeting Google’s browser have increased by 50%. 

Browsers are of interest to hackers because they’re key to how we use the internet – entering and storing information including passwords, cookies, and even credit card details. This makes them a target for information-stealing malware.  

Also: The scary future of the internet: How the tech of tomorrow will pose even bigger cybersecurity threats

All of this information is useful for cyber criminals, either to exploit themselves or sell on dark web forums for others to use. For example, stolen passwords for corporate cloud services could be used to help launch significant cyberattacks, including ransomware campaigns, while stolen card details could be used to drain people’s bank accounts.

Researchers suggest that one reason for the increase in attacks targeting Chrome could be the persistence of various zero-day exploits.

There have been several instances of these high-severity Chrome vulnerabilities this year, including CVE-2022-1364CVE-2022-2294 and CVE-2022-307. Google warned that the latter was actively being used to conduct cyberattacks, and Chrome browser users on Windows, Mac and Linux were told to apply the relevant security update immediately.

However, researchers suggest that the rise on Chrome attacks might partly be due to the fact that many browsers aren’t receiving the updates, particularly if security patches aren’t automatically being applied by administrators. Without these updates, browsers are highly vulnerable to attacks.

Ensuring that critical security updates are applied as soon as possible is one of the best strategies when it comes to protecting against cyberattacks targeting browsers – or any other software.

“All it takes is one unpatched vulnerability for an attack to squeeze through a crack in your defenses. Keeping your software updated with the latest security patches is one of the single best actions you can take in terms of bang for your buck in cyber defense,” said the WatchGuard report. 


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