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Iranian Attack on Israel

Macro Monday, Iranian attack dominates weekend headlines, report on UK manufacturing, and what's happening today.

Macro Monday
With Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web going live in 1989 and being open to the public in 1991, by 1995 seven people in every thousand were accessing the world wide web using the internet. By the turn of the millennium this had risen tenfold to around 70 people in every thousand. Throughout the next 20 years the Web continued to grow at an existential rate. By 2019 around 567 people in every thousand were now online. While data from the World Bank suggests that 100% of the population of the UAE, Qatar, Lichtenstein and Bahrain use the internet, this is sharply contrasted with Eritrea, Somalia, Uganda and the Central African Republic where internet usage is below 5% of the population.

Iranian Attack on Israel

The weekend’s headlines have been dominated by the Iranian attack which involved Tehran firing over 300 rockets on Israel. The attack has again raised fears of a further escalation of the conflict in the region as it represented the first time that Iran had directly assaulted Israel from its own territory. According to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Iran’s latest move comes in response to the “attack on the consular section of the Iranian embassy in Damascus” which killed thirteen people amongst which were senior commanders of the IRG.

The Israeli defence system and Iron Dome helped ensure that 99% of the projectiles – which included some 110 ballistic missiles and 43 cruise missiles – were intercepted. Given many of the weapons were fired from Iran and travelled through Iraq, Syria and Jordan, its understood that most were intercepted outside of Israeli air space. Missiles were also fired from Iranian backed militias in Iraq, Syria and Yemen with the US, the UK, France and Jordan helping to intercept them.

The following day, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held an emergency meeting with the country’s war cabinet though its unclear what actions Israel will take next. Retired army general and member of the committee, Benny Gantz said that Israel would respond “in the way and at the time that suits us” though some reports are indicating that the committee remains divided on the nature of such a response.

While President Biden reiterated the US’ ironclad commitment to Israel and the country’s defence, one senior American diplomat said that “The president has been clear. We don’t want to see this escalate” while also stating that the US was “not looking for a wider war with Iran.”

Following the attack, the United Nations Security Council meet in New York as diplomats from around the world considered the latest developments in the region and its geopolitical implications. This involved the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres say that “The people of the region are confronting a real danger of a devastating full-scale conflict. Now is the time to defuse and de-escalate. Neither the region nor the world can afford more war”.

At the UN, Israel’s ambassador said that the international community should emplace “all possible sanctions on Iran before it’s too late”. As we move into the week, attention continues to focus on the latest developments in the region as the situation becomes increasingly fragile.

UK Manufacturing

There’s a report due later today that shows the UK manufacturing sector makes up around 23% of the UK economy, and not just the 8% that is often quoted by economists.

‘The True Impact of Manufacturing’ report is a deep dive into the sector by Oxford Economics and the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) and, according to the CEO of MTA it “looks at the direct, indirect, and induced impacts of manufacturing, which is a far more comprehensive overview of what we make, the complex nature of our supply chains and the economic benefit gained from the spending of wages by those employed in our sector”.

We’ll be interested to read the full report later today and report back with anything noteworthy.

Today in Focus

As attention continues to remain focused on the latest developments from the Middle East following Iran’s attack on Israel, this week gets off to a relatively light start in terms of data releases. Figures out today however include US retail sales figures which are expecting to come in at 0.3% on a monthly basis.

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