U.S. Retail Sales Plunge Record 8.7% After Paychecks Disappear
“U.S. retail sales tumbled in March by the most on record as the coronavirus forced thousands of the nation’s merchants to close and left millions of Americans without a paycheck. The value of overall sales fell 8.7% from the prior month, the biggest decline in records dating back to 1992, Commerce Department figures showed Wednesday. Estimates ranged from no change to a 24% drop, with a median projection of an 8% decline.”
Spain Records Biggest Rise in New Coronavirus Cases in Six Days
“Spain reported the biggest increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in six days on Wednesday, while the daily death toll declined. There were more than 5,000 new infections in the 24 hours through Wednesday, taking the total to 177,633, according to Health Ministry data. The number of fatalities rose by 523 to 18,579, compared to Tuesday’s increase of 637.”
China Blasts Trump’s Move to Pull WHO Funding, Pledges Support
“China criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s move to temporarily halt funding to the World Health Organization and pledged to support the global health body. Trump on Tuesday said he ordered the move against the WHO because it took China’s claims about the coronavirus “at face value” and failed to share information about the pandemic as it spread. China has “serious concerns” about the decision and called on the U.S. to fulfill its responsibilities, foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a briefing in Beijing on Wednesday.”
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