Overseas Headlines – October 21, 2021

United States:

U.S. Jobless Claims Fall to New Pandemic Low of 290,000

“Washington (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to a new low point since the pandemic erupted, evidence that layoffs are declining as companies hold onto workers. Unemployment claims dropped 6,000 to 290,000 last week, the third straight drop, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s the fewest people to apply for benefits since March 14, 2020, when the pandemic intensified. Applications for jobless aid, which generally track the pace of layoffs, have fallen steadily from about 900,000 in January.”



Sunak’s Budget Boost Comes With Warning on U.K. Debt Costs

“U.K. government borrowing was significantly lower than forecast in the first half of the fiscal year but a surge in debt costs sent a warning to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak ahead of his budget next week. The budget deficit totaled 108.1 billion pounds ($149 billion) between April and September, the Office for National Statistics said Thursday. That’s almost 30% below the 151.6 billion pounds predicted by the Office for Budget Responsibility in March, despite inflation driving up interest payments on government debt. The deficit in September alone stood at 21.8 billion pounds, a slightly lower figure than economists expected.”



Korea Early Exports Show Resilience in Face of China Slowdown

“Strong gains in South Korea’s exports this month suggest global demand is holding up despite headwinds from supply chain snags and an energy crunch disrupting Chinese production. Overall shipments grew 36.1% in the first twenty days of the month from a year earlier, data from the customs office showed Thursday. Sales to China jumped 30.9%, indicating that Korea’s biggest trade partner still has solid demand for parts and components.”



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