U.S. Consumer Spending Held Up in February Before Virus Hit
“U.S. consumer spending held up in February, the latest sign that the world’s largest economy remained on stable footing before measures to contain the spreading pandemic began rippling through consumers and businesses. Personal spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of the economy, rose 0.2% for a second month, according to Commerce Department data released Friday that matched the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists.”
Johnson Becomes First World Leader to Say He Has Coronavirus
“U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has become the first world leader to say he has tested positive for coronavirus. Johnson will self-isolate in Downing Street for seven days after a test on Thursday found he had the virus, his spokesman James Slack told reporters on Friday. Meals will be left at Johnson’s door while he continues to work by video-conference, Slack said. I’ve developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus, that’s to say a temperature and a persistent cough,” Johnson said in a video posted on Twitter. “Be in no doubt I can continue, thanks to the wizardry of modern technology, to communicate with all my top team, to lead the national fightback against coronavirus.”
Japan Mulls Economic Response after Clearing Budget Hurdle
“Japan’s parliament passed a regular annual budget Friday that clears the way for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to come up with new stimulus measures to help an economy reeling under the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Even though a portion of the 102.7 trillion yen ($950 billion) budget will fund parts of a stimulus package announced in December, it already looks outdated because it was put together before the virus started spreading across the world.”
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