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November 11, 2019

Singles’ Day shopping splurge begins / UK posts GDP estimates / Lancet press conference ahead of climate change health report

By Robert Scammell


Good morning, here’s your Monday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

Singles’ Day shopping splurge begins

China’s equivalent of the US’ Cyber Monday gets underway as retailers offer major discounts over a 24 hour period.

Started in 1993, the day was originally a celebration of being single, represented by the four ‘1s’ in today’s date. It has since become the largest offline and online shopping event in the world.

In 2018 shoppers splurged US$30.8bn with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba alone, with more than one billion delivery orders placed over the course of 24 hours. By contrast, last year’s Black Friday attracted $6.2bn in online sales. This year some are expecting Singles’ Day sales to near or exceed $40bn.

UK posts GDP estimates

The Office for National Statistics today publishes its latest monthly estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) for the UK.

GDP, which measures the value of goods and services produced by a country, is the most widely used indicator of economic health.

Global trade uncertainty and Brexit stagnation is expected to weigh heavily on the figures. A contraction this quarter would mean the UK is in a technical recession.

The latest projections from the UK’s Monetary Policy Committee forecast a 1% slump in GDP by the end of 2022 compared to forecasts from August.

Lancet press conference ahead of Countdown on Health and Climate Change report

The Lancet, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, will hold a press conference ahead of the publication of its annual Countdown on Health and Climate Change report.

The World’s Health Organisation’s director-general has previously described climate change as the “defining health issue of the 21st century”. Global warming creates more extreme weather events, which in turn damages infrastructure, ruins crops and limits access to clean water.

The 2018 report highlighted a lack of progress in reducing emissions, with national health systems facing extra pressure in dealing with associated health problems.

A media briefing will take place at 10:30am (GMT) ahead of the paper’s launch on Wednesday.

Friday’s Highlights


Facebook political advertising is “not democracy”: Margrethe Vestager

Collaboration not competition: How SaaS vendors are embracing “best-of-breed”

Trump tech chief lays freedom on the line in calls to block Chinese technology