U.S. Housing Starts Slumped by Most on Record in April
“U.S. home construction starts plunged in April by the most in records back to 1959, as the nationwide lockdown to control the spread of the coronavirus hammered the housing market and broader economy. Residential starts plummeted 30.2% to an 891,000 from a month earlier, the lowest level since February 2015, according to a government report released Tuesday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a 900,000 pace. Applications to build, a proxy for future construction, dropped 20.8%, the most since July 2008, to a five-year low 1.07 million rate.”
U.K. Jobless Claims Surged in April as Lockdown Kicked In
“The number of Britons seeking jobless benefits spiked the most on record last month as the coronavirus lockdown sent shock waves through the U.K. economy. Jobless claims rose 856,500 to more than 2 million in April, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday. The claimant count rate climbed to 5.8%, the highest in more than two decades. The figures include some people who are still working but have experienced a loss of earnings.”
China Considers More Economic Pain for Australia on Virus Spat
“China is considering targeting more Australian exports including wine and dairy, according to people familiar with the matter, in what would be a dramatic deterioration in ties as the key trading partners spar over the coronavirus outbreak.”
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