Business

World stocks power ahead on rapid recovery hopes

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Global stocks powered higher Tuesday as strong US retail sales data bolstered confidence in the economic recovery, even as China further tightened restrictions to try to limit a fresh coronavirus outbreak in Beijing. Major indices in Europe and the United States gained following a surprisingly big rebound in retail sales in May, which came after an April marred by widespread coronavirus shutdowns. Analysts also pointed to a boost from […]

Japan economy better than feared but still in recession

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) —  Japanese growth figures were better than initially feared in the first quarter, according to official data published on Monday, but the world’s third-top economy was still mired deep in recession. Gross domestic product contracted by 0.6 percent in the January-March period compared to the previous quarter. Authorities had initially reported a 0.9-percent contraction. Economists had expected the revision, with the market forecasting a 0.5-percent contraction. The figures confirmed that Japan was […]

Russia to spend over $70 billion on virus recovery plan

MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Russia plans to spend about $72 billion (65 billion euro) on a plan to restore the economy following the coronavirus shutdown, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said Tuesday. The program to boost employment, incomes and economic growth “contains over 500 measures, its cost over two years will be about five trillion rubles,” Mishustin told President Vladimir Putin in a televised meeting. Putin described the plan as a “foundation” for repairing the economy […]

Shares in Latin America’s biggest airline plunge after bankruptcy filing

by Miguel SANCHEZ SANTIAGO, Chile (AFP) — Shares in Latin America’s largest airline plunged on the New York and Santiago stock exchanges on Tuesday after LATAM filed for bankruptcy in the US. LATAM has suffered a drastic slump in business due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit travel and tourism all over the world. Last month the airline scaled back operations by 95 percent. “LATAM entered this crisis as a healthy and profitable group […]

Singapore warns of worst economic contraction since independence

SINGAPORE, Singapore (AFP) — Singapore’s embattled economy could shrink by as much as seven percent this year, which would be the worst reading since independence, with the government saying Tuesday the coronavirus pandemic had throttled the key export sector. The city-state is seen as a bellwether of the global economy and the historic contraction highlights the extreme pain being wrought on countries by the killer disease. The warning also came hours before Singapore’s deputy prime […]

US layoffs surpass 38.6 million as lawmakers debate stimulus

  by Chris Stein Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Job losses in the United States are slowing but totaled an unheard-of 38.6 million since the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns began, while officials debate what additional steps will be needed to rescue the beleaguered economy. Another 2.43 million Americans were put out of work last week, fewer than the previous week but still among the highest figures on record, according to the latest Labor […]

DOF reports dive in tax, customs collections for this year amid COVID crisis

P706.85-B collected from Jan-April much lower compared to P900.33-B collected for same period last year (Eagle News) — The Department of Finance reported a dive in tax and customs collections for this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported a huge drop in collections from January to April this year, as these reached only P706.85 billion. This is P28.17 billion short of […]

US layoffs surpass 38.6 mn as lawmakers debate stimulus

by Chris Stein Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Job losses in the United States are slowing but totaled an unheard-of 38.6 million since the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns began, while officials debate what additional steps will be needed to rescue the beleaguered economy. Another 2.43 million Americans were put out of work last week, fewer than the previous week but still among the highest figures on record, according to the latest Labor Department […]

No annual growth target for virus-hit China, a first in years

PEKIN, China (AFP) — China took the rare move of not setting an annual growth target this year after the coronavirus battered the world’s second-largest economy and ravaged global growth, Premier Li Keqiang said Friday. Instead, given “great uncertainty” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing will “give priority to stabilizing employment and ensuring living standards”, he told the opening of the National People’s Congress. He also announced that China’s fiscal deficit was expected to be […]

Japan consumer prices log first drop in more than 3 years

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Consumer prices in Japan fell for the first time in more than three years last month, official data showed Friday, dragged down by the coronavirus pandemic and collapsing oil prices. Core prices in April, excluding volatile fresh food, slipped 0.2 percent from a year earlier, reversing a rise of 0.4 percent in March, according to the internal affairs ministry. It was the first drop in 40 months, the ministry said, and […]

Thailand’s economy contracts for first time since 2014

BANGKOK, Thailand (AFP) — Thailand’s economy shrank for the first time in six years because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has shuttered borders and devastated the tourism-reliant country. Some 40 million tourists were expected to arrive in Thailand this year, drawn to its sandy beaches, infamous nightlife and street food culture. But the outbreak has sharply bruised the country’s cash cow, with tourist vendors reporting as early as mid-January a drop in visitors after China […]

Japan slides into recession — with forecasts of worse to come

by Kyoko HASEGAWA Agence France Presse TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Japan dived into its first recession since 2015, according to official data Monday, with the world’s third-largest economy shrinking by 0.9 percent in the first quarter as it wrestles with the fallout from the coronavirus. The drop in gross domestic product followed a 1.9-percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2019 as a tax hike and typhoons hit Japan hard — even before the pandemic […]