Hopes that China might finally be moving passed its Covid-zero policy have once again been dashed after the government imposed a lockdown in response to the first death from COVID-19 in the country since May.

The announcement of the move, and two further fatalities from the disease this week, mean that optimistic projections for a recovery in global economic growth will likely have to be shelved for the time being.

For Ireland, it might seem that events on the other side of the world will have little effect, but there are both short and medium-term trends to keep an eye on.

Oil prices

Lockdowns mean less economic growth in China, which is good news for energy prices as less growth means less demand for oil. Global crude prices have fallen since last week, with Brent holding below $90 a barrel, far below the year high of $127.

Oil trending lower will take some of the inflation pressure away from consumers here this winter.

In the medium-term however, a slowdown in China will increase the risks to global growth. With Europe already heading into a recession this year, a further leg lower in global economic activity could be the difference between a mild slowdown and a more severe reversal.