Overseas Headlines – March 12, 2021

United States:

U.S. Jobless Claims Hit Lowest Since November With More Vaccines

“Applications for U.S. jobless benefits fell by more than forecast last week to the lowest since early November as Covid-19 vaccinations accelerated and states eased more business restrictions. Initial claims in regular state programs fell by 42,000 to 712,000 in the week ended March 6, Labor Department data showed Thursday. On an unadjusted basis, the claims decreased by 47,170 to 709,458. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey had called for 725,000 initial claims.”



U.K. Economy Shrank Less Than Expected In January Lockdown

“The U.K. economy shrank less than expected during a coronavirus lockdown in January, driven by a surprise gain in construction and stronger activity in the health sector. Gross domestic product fell 2.9%, much smaller than the 4.9% contraction that economists had forecast, the government’s statistics office said. Gains from those segments also helped soften a 40.7% drop in exports to the European Union in the first full month after the Britain’s exit from the bloc.”



Asia Is About to Find Out What Biden Wants

“After four years of anti-China rhetoric from the Trump administration, President Joe Biden is trying a different strategy with allies in Asia. He’s going to focus less on listing China’s wrongs, and instead pursue policies designed to win support from countries wary about tackling Beijing head on, given their reliance on trade with the world’s second-biggest economy.”



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