Overseas Headlines- April 16, 2020

United States:

U.S. Jobless Claims Top 5.2 Million, Erasing a Decade of Gains

“More than 5 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total in the month since the coronavirus pandemic throttled the U.S. economy to 22 million and effectively erasing a decade worth of job creation. Initial jobless claims of 5.25 million in the week ended April 11 followed 6.62 million the prior week, according to Labor Department figures Thursday. The median estimate of economists was for 5.5 million, with projections ranging as high as 8 million.”



U.K. Says Will Reject Any EU Request to Extend Brexit Transition

“The U.K. government said it will reject any request from the European Union to delay the final stage of Brexit even as coronavirus hampers negotiations over their future economic relationship. Extending the transition would prolong business uncertainty,” government spokesman James Slack said on a call with reporters on Thursday, referring to the continuity period due to end on Dec. 31. “U.K. business needs to know what its future trading arrangements will be and how to adapt to them. It’s better to be clear now.”



Moon’s Win Shows Public Support for Big Spending to Combat Virus

“A landslide election victory for President Moon Jae-in’s parties shows resounding support among South Koreans for ramped-up government spending supported by the central bank to ride out the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. South Korea’s parliamentary elections took place this week with the government’s latest stimulus package already outlined for them to effectively vote on. The package, officially announced Thursday, offers emergency cash handouts to help families make ends meet during the crisis and is part of a second extra budget following a record-breaking annual budget.”




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