Latest news updates: IMF’s first woman chief economist Gopinath to return to Harvard in January

IMF’s first woman chief economist Gopinath to return to Harvard in January

IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath will leave the fund and return to Harvard University in January 2022 after a three-year term.

Gopinath’s public service leave of absence from Harvard University’s economics department had been extended by one year on an exceptional basis. She intends to return to the Ivy League university when her public service ends, the IMF said on Tuesday.

Gopinath in 2019 became the first woman appointed to the role of IMF chief economist. During her tenure co-authored the Pandemic Paper that led to the creation of a task force to help end the Covid-19 public health crisis. She also helped set up a climate change team inside the fund.

“We benefited immensely from her sharp intellect and deep knowledge of international finance and macroeconomics as we navigate through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression,” Kristalina Georgieva, IMF managing director, said.

The IMF said it would soon begin a search for her successor.

United Airlines blames rise of Delta variant for delay of travel recovery

United Airlines reported an adjusted net loss of $300bn as the airline struggled with the rise of the Delta variant.

The Chicago company’s revenue was down 32 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2019, to $7.8bn.

“The recovery was delayed by the Delta variant, but the United team remains focused on our long-term vision — and not getting sidetracked by near-term volatility,” said chief executive Scott Kirby.

Despite the operating loss, the airline swung to profitability with continued help from US taxpayers. United received $1.1bn in the third quarter from payments under the US Cares Act, which gave grants and loans to carriers to buffer them from the worst of their pandemic losses.

United reported net income of $500m.

United said it expects that fourth-quarter capacity will fall 23 per cent compared to the same period in 2019, while revenue will fall by up to 30 per cent.

What to watch in Asia today

China policy rate Traders and analysts polled by Reuters mostly expect the People’s Bank of China to hold its benchmark lending rate steady when the decision is announced today.

China house prices The House Price Index, compiled from mortgage data from the National Bureau of Statistics by Thomson Reuters, will be released today. Yesterday, government figures showed that the real estate sector shrank year-on-year for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

Japan trade balance The Ministry of Finance will release Japan’s trade balance figures for September. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the trade deficit to shrink but remain negative.

Netflix inks solid subscriber growth amid ‘Squid Game’ success

The breakout success of Squid Game helped Netflix double its net new subscribers in the third quarter to 4.4m, exceeding forecasts and signalling a strong finish to the year.

The South Korean hit drama, released in September, has been Netflix’s biggest-ever series launch, reaching more than 111m viewers around the world.

Most new subscriber growth came outside the US, with the Asia-Pacific region contributing 2.2m paid net new subscribers.

Netflix’s growth slowed in the first half of the year as Covid-19 related production delays dented the number of new shows on offer. The company said it expects to see the “positive effect of a stronger slate” in the second half of the year, including Squid Game, the second season of The Witcher and the debut of the action film Red Notice.

The streaming service projected it would add 8.5m new subscribers by the end of the year, higher than the 8.33m expected by Wall Street.

Netflix shares, which are up 18 per cent year-to-date, were little changed in after-hours trade.

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