Overseas Headlines – May 12, 2020

United States:

U.S. Core Consumer-Price Index Posts Record 0.4% Monthly Decline

“A key measure of U.S. consumer prices declined in April by the most on record amid a demand shock as most of the nation shut down to contain the coronavirus pandemic. The core consumer-price index, which excludes volatile food and fuel costs, fell 0.4% from the prior month after a 0.1% decrease in March, Labor Department figures showed Tuesday. That’s the biggest drop in data back to 1957. Compared with April of last year, the core CPI rose 1.4%, the smallest annual gain since 2011.”



U.K. Extends Furlough Plan to October While Sharing Burden

“Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak extended the U.K.’s furlough program through the end of October as the government sought to ensure as many jobs as possible survive the coronavirus lockdown. Sunak said there will be no changes to the Job Retention Scheme program until the end of July, when more flexibility will be injected to allow employees to work part-time, with their wages split between the state and employers. He promised more details on how the program will be modified by the end of May.”



Singapore Rejects Herd Immunity as Strategy to Tackle Virus

“Singapore rejected “herd immunity” as a strategy in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and signaled it instead will continue to contain transmission until a vaccine is ready. It’s too big a price for us to pay,” Kenneth Mak, the health ministry’s director of medical services, said at a briefing Tuesday. “Even though we have taken many steps to prepare for surges, to expand our capability, it can easily be overwhelmed with a strategy of moving toward herd immunity.”



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