Home decor became priority during COVID-19

Doha: The importance of home decor has increased as COVID-19 has forced more people to stay at home. A survey by Swedish furniture giant Ikea revealed that home decor became a priority with 47 percent people in Qatar focusing on this in the last three months and almost half 48 percent choosing to spend money on their home space rather than saving. 

According to the research, almost half of the people in Qatar found themselves spending more time in a different room this year due to COVID-19, with 41 percent using their living rooms to work. 

The furniture retail carried out independent research for the 70th edition of its new catalogue. Ikea’s new 2021 Catalogue, which was launched at a one-of-its-kind virtual event, is created as a handbook that feels like a friendly and optimistic problem-solver full of smart tips, hands-on ideas and small affordable shifts, rooted in real life at home. 

It is a way of sharing knowledge and a point of view that a better home creates a better everyday life. The handbook is filled with “how-to’s” that show how creating a better home doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive or time-consuming.

Commenting on the launch, Regional Managing Director, Ikea, Vinod Jayan, said, “Now in its 70th year, the Ikea catalogue 2021 aims to inspire people to live healthier and more sustainable lives at home — this has never been as important as it is today. On the path to a better life at home, small steps make a big difference. An armchair, a rug, a potted plant or a lamp can change your mood, day and perspective.”

He continued, “We know that many people in Qatar have more limited budgets today. That’s why many of the solutions featured in this year’s catalogue are accessible for people with any budget and help them maximise their space and transform their favourite rooms.” 

This year’s catalogue comes in both a print version as well as digital version that is optimised for different channels and platforms.

General Manager, Marketing and Communication, Carla Klumpenaar, said, “The Ikea catalogue 2021 is not just a catalogue — it is a collection of inspiration and knowledge of life at home for all Ikea online and offline channels, for digital and physical touchpoints. We are continuing to develop the global marketing channels and at the same time creating content locally to become even more market relevant with a selection of styles, situations, segments and stories.”

Ikea knows that people today want their personalities to be shown in their home. Since multi-function and creativity is key in order to enable both a small space living solution and an expressive design piece, Ikea turned to Greyhound Original. The result is a collection influenced by Asia, called SAMMANKOPPLA which means interconnect or unify. The collection is now out in the stores.

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White House says reducing record debt will be ‘big second-term priority’ for Trump

The White House on Wednesday said that reducing the nation’s record debt will be a second-term priority for President Trump.

a woman in a blue shirt: White House says reducing record debt will be 'big second-term priority' for Trump

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White House says reducing record debt will be ‘big second-term priority’ for Trump

Asked about Congressional Budget Office projections that the annual deficit will reach $3.3 trillion by the end of the fiscal year this month, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday “the debt is a big second-term priority” for President Trump.


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“We believe unprecedented growth will go a long way in solving the problem but it is certainly a second-term priority,” she said, echoing promises Trump made in 2016 and in the early days of his presidency.

The annual deficit this year is projected to reach an unprecedented level that dwarfs the record $1.4 trillion deficit from 2009.

The accumulated debt is on track to surpass the size of the entire economy next year for the first time since World War II, and breach its all-time record in the coming years.

On the 2016 campaign trail, Trump promised to wipe out the nation’s debt altogether over the course of his presidency.

The primary tool for doing that, he said, would be to juice the economy, producing unprecedented, consistent annual growth rates upwards of 3, 4, 5, even 6 percent to bring revenues up and dwarf the debt, which is frequently measured in comparison to the size of the economy.

But the unprecedented growth failed to materialize, never reaching 3 percent over the course of a full calendar year.

Instead, the GOP’s unfunded tax cuts added a projected $1.9 trillion to deficits over the course of a decade, even after accounting for their effects on economic growth.

At the same time, Trump insisted on supercharging the level of defense spending, and agreed to Democratic demands for similarly large increases in domestic spending.

Annual deficits jumped from $587 billion in 2016 to just shy of $1 trillion in 2019, an increase of two-thirds. Economists say periods of economic growth should be used to pay down debts and prepare for a rainy day.

The precipitous increase in the deficit since last year, however, is largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented level of fiscal response that kept the economy from collapsing during a period of lockdowns.

Top economic officials including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell say that a strong fiscal response is key to supporting a robust economic recovery.

Many fiscal hawks acknowledge that the debt should be tackled only after the crisis abates, but warn that it will be a serious and difficult undertaking when it does, involving some combination of tax increases and spending cuts.

Morgan Chalfant contributed.

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