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]
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]

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?

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.

$1,506

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.

2030

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.

$374,400

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.

Source: Al Jazeera

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