U.S. Economy is Improving — And That Could Complicate Biden’s Stimulus Plans
“The U.S. economy is showing some scattered signs of picking up from an end-of-year slowdown, muddying President Joe Biden’s efforts to win congressional passage of a $1.9 trillion stimulus package. New claims filed for unemployment benefits have fallen for two straight weeks, while January payrolls are forecast to rebound from a December swoon in data out on Friday. Managers in charge of buying supplies for U.S. companies reported increased business last month and homebuilders said demand remained robust.”
EU Faces 100 Billion-Euro Price Tag for Bungled Vaccine Push
“The European Union is facing a cost of tens of billions of euros for the slow and chaotic rollout of coronavirus vaccinations compared to countries such as the U.K. and U.S. Lockdowns mean the bloc’s economy is operating at about 95% of its pre-pandemic level, equating to about 12 billion euros ($14 billion) a week of lost output, according to calculations by Bloomberg Economics. It’s also weeks behind its peers in inoculations, and progressing at a slower pace.”
Japan Boosts Incentives to Counter China’s Factory Dominance
“Japan continues to reward manufacturers for decoupling from its biggest trading partner: China. The government will allocate another 222.5 billion yen ($2.1 billion) in the coming months to help fund projects that either enhance domestic manufacturing or diversify supply chains in Asia. Japan doesn’t name China, but instead says it is aiming to strengthen its partnership with ASEAN, a group of nations in southeast Asia that doesn’t include China.”
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