U.S. Jobless Claims Drop to Pandemic Low of 281,000
“Washington (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell to a pandemic low last week as the job market continues to recover from last year’s coronavirus recession. Jobless claims dropped by 10,000 to 281,000, lowest since mid-March 2020, the Labor Department said Thursday. Since topping 900,000 in early January, weekly applications have steadily dropped, moving ever closer to pre-pandemic levels just above 200,000.”
Europe’s Surging Prices Beat Lockdown Risk for ECB Officials
“The European Central Bank’s markets chief and the Dutch National Bank governor urged an end to emergency stimulus, highlighting inflation risks while insisting the recovery can weather new pandemic restrictions. Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel and Governing Council member Klaas Knot both suggested increasing vigilance to the threat of soaring prices, just weeks before a crucial decision on the future of asset purchases.”
China’s Slowdown Tests Central Bank Amid Debate Over Easing
“China’s marked economic slowdown in the second half of the year is testing the central bank’s policy mettle and dividing economists over whether more aggressive action is needed to avoid a deeper downturn. The People’s Bank of China is having to juggle multiple economic risks, pulling policy in different directions. Growth is heading for lows not seen since 1990 — if last year’s pandemic year is excluded — factory-gate inflation is soaring, while the currency is rallying on the back of record trade surpluses.”
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