U.S. Jobless Claims Doubled to Record 6.65 Million Last Week
“The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits more than doubled to a second straight record, highlighting the devastating economic impact of the coronavirus as shutdowns widened across the country. A total of 6.65 million people filed jobless claims in the week ended March 28, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday, as many stores and restaurants were forced to close across the nation to mitigate the outbreak. The prior week’s level was also revised up slightly to 3.31 million.”
U.K. House Prices Were Soaring Before Coronavirus Hit
“U.K. house prices were climbing at the fastest pace in more than two years before the coronavirus pandemic almost brought the market to a standstill, according to Nationwide Building Society. Values rose 3% from a year earlier in March, and gained 0.8% from February alone, the mortgage lender said Thursday. The sample period excludes the recent disruption caused by the U.K.’s restrictions to contain the virus, it said.”
China Rejects U.S. Intelligence Claim It Hid Virus Numbers
“China rejected the American intelligence community’s conclusion that Beijing concealed the extent of the coronavirus epidemic, and accused the U.S. of seeking to shift the blame for its own handling of the outbreak. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Thursday defended as “open and transparent” China’s response to the virus first identified in December in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. She was responding to a Bloomberg News report saying that the U.S. intelligence community had concluded in a classified report to the White House that Beijing under-reported both total cases and deaths from the disease.”
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