Overseas Headlines – August 12, 2020

United States:

Americans Rush to Be Their Own Bosses as Covid Hits Job Market

“Whether out of necessity or a fondness for working in one’s pajama bottoms, Americans are filing paperwork to become their own bosses at a clip one economist calls “off the charts.” The number of people applying for Employer Identification Numbers, which new businesses file with the IRS, has doubled in recent weeks over year-ago levels and has outpaced the rate seen during the Great Recession. Most are so-called nonemployers such as sole proprietors, although economists have spotted a surprisingly strong increase in applications for businesses likely to hire staff.”



U.K.’s Worst Slump in Europe Raises Pressure to Sustain Rebound

“The U.K. economy suffered more than any major European nation during the coronavirus lockdowns, piling pressure on the government to ensure the withdrawal of its support programs doesn’t derail the nascent recovery. Gross domestic product plunged 20.4% in the second quarter, the most since records began in 1955 and roughly double that of Germany and the U.S. It also pushed Britain into its first recession since 2009.”



Japan’s Economy Seen Taking Four Years to Regain Lost Ground

“Japan’s economy won’t recover ground lost during the pandemic until the year starting April 2024, according to a gloomier-than-consensus analysis by a Japanese think tank that highlights the long-term impact of the coronavirus. The Japan Center for Economic Research sees a slow recovery following a 6.8% contraction in the economy in the current fiscal year through next March, with virus-linked weakness in the U.S. and other key export markets among the biggest factors dragging on growth.”




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