Overseas Headlines – June 18, 2020

United States:

U.S. Jobless Claims Declined Less Than Forecast in Latest Week

“Applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. fell less than forecast last week, showing only gradual improvement from the worst of the pandemic-related layoffs even as states re-open more of their economies. Initial jobless claims for regular state programs totaled 1.51 million in the week ended June 13, down slightly from an upwardly revised 1.57 million in the prior week, Labor Department figures showed Thursday. Applications have exceeded a once-unthinkable 1 million on a weekly basis since mid-March. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 1.29 million initial claims in the latest week.”



BOE Boosts Bond Buying by $125 Billion to Counter Virus Crisis

“The Bank of England intensified its response to the fallout from the coronavirus by expanding its bond-buying program, but slowed the pace of purchases and gave few clues on what it plans to do next to help lift the economy out of the worst recession in centuries. Policy makers led by Governor Andrew Bailey voted 8-1 to boost quantitative easing by 100 billion pounds ($125 billion), while holding the benchmark interest rate at a record-low 0.1%. Chief Economist Andy Haldane favored keeping QE unchanged.”



Japan Dream of 40 Million Tourists May End in 5 Million Reality

“Fewer than 5 million tourists could end up visiting Japan in 2020 as the government’s goal of welcoming 40 million visitors meets the reality of the coronavirus pandemic, according to SMBC Nikko Securities economist Koya Miyamae, who warns of a longer-term economic impact. The number of visitors to Japan tanked last month to 1,700, according to data from the Japan National Tourism Organization Wednesday. That was a new low in records that go back to 1964, as the pandemic largely shut down the country’s borders. So far only 3.9 million visitors have arrived in Japan this year.”



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