Overseas Headlines – May 8, 2020

United States:

U.S. Jobless Rate Triples to 14.7% in Sharpest Labor Downturn

“In the harshest downturn for American workers in U.S. history, employers cut an unprecedented 20.5 million jobs in April and the unemployment rate more than tripled to 14.7%. Back in February, before the coronavirus pandemic brought the U.S. economy to a standstill, the rate hovered at just 3.5%. That had been the lowest level in five decades. April’s is the highest since just after the Great Depression of the 1930s.”



Euro Area’s Small Businesses Fear Pandemic Will Cost Them Loans

“Euro-area small businesses entered the coronavirus lockdown fretting about losing access to bank loans because of the damage to their finances, according to the European Central Bank. Small and medium-sized companies, the backbone of the 19-nation economy, saw their own financial situation as one factor impeding their ability to secure credit for the first time since 2014, an ECB survey showed on Friday.”



Singapore’s Late Pivot to Mass Tests Challenged by Kit Shortage

“In a back room of Singaporean dentist Teehee Dental Works, three orange-topped boxes hum with a sterile buzz. Over the next three hours, a thousand strands of liquid resin will form and harden to become plastic nasal swabs, ready to be used in Covid-19 test kits. Those 3D printers – normally making dentures and crowns – are a part of a local effort to re-tool some of Singapore’s industries to respond to a growing need for test kits amid the widening coronavirus pandemic.”



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