Overseas Headlines – December 24, 2020

United States:

Jobless Claims, Spending Show U.S. Economy Limping Into Year-End

“U.S. consumer spending and incomes fell more than forecast in November and filings for unemployment benefits remained at elevated levels last week, the latest signs that the autumn’s surge in coronavirus cases is sapping the economic recovery. Initial jobless claims in regular state programs dropped by 89,000 to 803,000 in the week ended Dec. 19, according to the Labor Department Wednesday, compared with the median projection of economists for 880,000. On an unadjusted basis, claims fell by about 73,000.”



France-U.K. Border in Channel to Remain Open Through Christmas

“The U.K. and France agreed to keep the key Dover-Calais trade crossing, including Eurotunnel, open over Christmas. Both ports will remain operational to allow hauliers and citizens to “return home as soon as possible,” U.K. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Twitter Wednesday morning. Coronavirus testing will also continue in Kent, the county where Dover is located, he said.”



China Looks at Cutting Inequality in Order to Boost the Economy

“The Chinese Communist Party’s new pledge to fix the “demand side” of the economy has prompted expectations the leadership will implement more egalitarian policies to stimulate consumer spending. The Party’s top leaders used the phrase “demand-side reform” for the first time this month, in a departure from its past focus on “supply-side” changes which involve upgrading industry and cutting.” capacity in bloated sectors



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