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News in brief

January 11, 2022 at 2:09 a.m.

Disasters in '21 cost

$280B, report says

BERLIN -- Damage wrought by Hurricane Ida in Louisiana and the flash floods that hit Europe last summer helped make 2021 one of the most expensive years for natural disasters, reinsurance company Munich Re said Monday.

The company's annual report put the overall economic losses from natural disasters worldwide last year at $280 billion, making it the fourth-costliest after 2011, the year an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan.

Insured losses in 2021 amounted to $120 billion, the second-highest after 2017, when hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria hit the Americas, according to Munich Re.

More than a third of those insured losses last year were caused by Ida ($36 billion) and the July floods in Europe ($13 billion).

Satellite measurements show 2021 was one of the warmest years on record, with the annual average temperature 1.1-1.2 degrees Celsius higher than the preindustrial period from 1850-1900, the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service said Monday.

-- The Associated Press

Airbus jet deliveries

increase 8% in 2021

Airbus said Monday that it delivered 611 passenger jets in 2021, an 8% increase over 2020 but an indication that airlines are still cautious about adding new planes during a pandemic that has reduced travel worldwide.

More than three-quarters of last year's deliveries were for planes in Airbus' A320 family, which are mostly used for short and medium-length flights. Deliveries of wide-body, two-aisle planes continued to lag, reflecting the much slower recovery in international flights.

U.S. rival Boeing is scheduled to report 2021 deliveries and orders today.

Airbus, based in Toulouse, France, said it took in a net of 507 orders last year after excluding cancellations. Most were for planes in the A320neo group of single-aisle planes. The company said it ended last year with a backlog of 7,082 aircraft on order.

Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury said the orders indicated that airlines are confident about the growth of air travel after covid-19. He said that "while uncertainties remain," Airbus is on track to raise production rates.

-- The Associated Press

Arkansas Index falls

6.64, ends at 763.41

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Monday at 763.41, down 6.64.

"U.S. stocks staged a nice rally towards the close on Monday after a rough opening, with the Nasdaq staging a huge comeback as investors look for bargains even as they worry about rising interest rates," said Chris Harkins, managing director Raymond James & Associates.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

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