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The International Monetary Fund has slashed its global economic forecasts for 2020, saying the coronavirus pandemic is causing a much steeper recession and a slower recovery than initially expected.

“The organization said Wednesday that it thinks global GDP will contract by 4.9% this year, downgrading its estimate from April, when output was forecast to shrink by 3%. That was already due to be the deepest slump since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

“The pandemic is causing an “unprecedented decline in global activity,” according to the IMF. It said the global labor market has taken a “catastrophic” hit, movement outside the home remains depressed, companies have cut back on investment and consumer spending has dropped significantly.

“”The Covid-19 pandemic has had a more negative impact on activity in the first half of 2020 than anticipated, and the recovery is projected to be more gradual than previously forecast,” the IMF said in its report.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/24/economy/imf-economic-outlook/index.html


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“Weak demand is forcing U.S. employers to lay off workers, keeping new applications for unemployment benefits extraordinarily high, even as businesses have reopened, buttressing views the labor market could take years to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy/u-s-layoffs-remain-elevated-as-weak-demand-persists-after-businesses-reopened-idUKKBN23W0GA


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More than 1 million Americans have started dipping into an unemployment fund meant for extended periods of joblessness.

“Research suggests these individuals will have a harder time finding a job than others, amid an employment crisis worse than any time since the Great Depression, according to experts. That, in turn, may put them at greater risk of exhausting unemployment aid in the coming months.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/24/nearly-1point1-million-americans-on-unemployment-face-risky-jobless-period.html


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GNC has walked through death’s door after knocking on it for years. And it’s likely others will follow suit this year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues its devastation of America’s retail sector.

“The 85-year-old vitamin seller filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday after years of battling waning sales and a debt load north of $1 billion.”

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/a-scary-number-of-retail-companies-are-facing-bankruptcy-amid-the-coronavirus-pandemic-180604964.html


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The Trump administration is weighing tariffs on around $3.1 billion of imports from the UK, Spain, Germany and France.

“Products that are being considered include cheese, planes, beer and gin, a notice published Tuesday night said.”

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/trade-war-us-tariffs-europe-3-billion-new-notice-2020-6-1029337397


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The cliff edge for firms and workers in Portugal echoes those looming over much of Europe.

“In coming months, emergency programs will expire across the continent, creating the risk of a second-wave hit to the economy… Governments have already pumped billions into support schemes , and blown out their budgets in the process.”

https://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/europe-is-approaching-a-distastrous-economic-cliff-edge/story-IjxEh4j8V44DcNclwBDRWI.html


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When the Bank of England predicts the worse recession in 300 years, you know it’s going to be bad—but it’s worse.

“Three hundred years ago the industrial revolution had not even begun. So transcribed for context, the Bank of England is predicting the worse recession in industrial history.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/investor/2020/06/24/the-uk-economy-is-broken/#7c40befa5e7b


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Fifteen police officers have been left injured after a south London street party descended into panic and violence.

“Scotland Yard said officers were confronted by a “hostile” crowd as they tried to break up a “block party” on Overton Road, Brixton, on Wednesday night.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/car-smash-brixton-street-party-chaos-a4479556.html


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South Africa’s economy is projected to shrink by 7.2 percent in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the deepest slump in 90 years, the finance minister said Wednesday…

“Tito Mboweni… compared public debt to a “hippopotamus… eating our children’s inheritance”.”

https://news.yahoo.com/africa-says-economy-shrink-7-2-deepest-slump-171459747.html


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Unrest is continuing to spread in Tunisia, which has been hit by a series of strikes and protests over high levels of unemployment and increased levels of poverty

“Tataouine resident Ismail Smida said: “The situation is dangerous in our area. From the window of my home I see police forces randomly launching [tear] gas and chasing young men.””

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/unrest-spreads-tunisia-over-poverty-and-unemployment


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“Dozens of disgruntled Chinese investors protested this week in Chengdu, capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan, after Sichuan Trust, based in the city, said the firm would struggle to make principal and interest payments on at least Rmb13bn worth of “trust of trust” vehicles due by the end of the year.

“The incident highlights growing stresses faced by China’s financial system…”

https://www.ft.com/content/a15b9bf7-af44-4de1-a7f1-f70ee88cac50


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The Bank of Thailand has reduced its economic outlook to a contraction of 8.1% this year, deeper than the 1997 financial crisis, but kept the policy rate on hold at 0.50%.

“The latest economic forecast for 2020 is worse than the record contraction of 7.6% for the Tom Yum Kung crisis, said Don Nakornthab, senior director for the economic and policy department.”

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1940620/bot-forecasts-record-contraction


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Beset by decades of conflict, a weak health care system and high rates of malnutrition…

Afghanistan has urged people to respect social distancing to avoid the virus but few in the teeming markets of Kabul have been seen following instructions.”

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/afghanistan-covid-19-pandemic-hunger/


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Thousands of migrant workers in Lebanon are struggling to secure repatriation flights home as poverty and unemployment soar with the collapse of the local currency.

“Lebanon has long been home to a large migrant labour workforce, mostly hailing from Africa and Asia…”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/migrant-crisis-lebanon-worsens-workers-dumped-streets/


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On 10 April, Yemen reported the first confirmed case of COVID-19, posing a terrifying threat to people weakened by years of conflict, and with a health system on the brink of collapse

““There is every reason to believe that community transmission is already underway across the country”, said Mr. Guterres.”

https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/06/1065292


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“Blood stains on the walls and floors. Cockroaches and rats in hallways. And several dozen Covid-19 patients per ward, but only two nurses and one bathroom.

Ever since the coronavirus started coursing through Latin America in March, health experts worried what would happen if the pandemic took root in embattled Venezuela. In the hot and humid coastal city of Maracaibo, that day has arrived.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-24/virus-takes-root-in-venezuela-oil-town-already-in-collapse


Global energy demand is set to fall by 6% in 2020, the largest in 70 years, due to the coronavirus pandemic, an expert with the International Energy Agency said June 24…”

https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/coal/062420-global-energy-demand-could-decline-6-in-2020-due-to-pandemic-iea


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The outlook for major global housing markets looks subdued, with high unemployment from the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns and low immigration the biggest hurdles over the coming year, according to a majority of analysts polled by Reuters…

“With several risks still at play, house prices in Australia, India, Dubai, Britain, Canada and the United States were forecast to fall this year…”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-global-property-poll/global-housing-markets-ensnared-by-pandemics-high-unemployment-idUKKBN23W00D?il=0


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This year, analysts, investors and bankers are flying blind after the economic crisis triggered by the outbreak of novel coronavirus coincided with a new regulatory tweak to rip up the Fed’s “stress test” playbook

“This year, the Fed will not outrightly “pass” or “fail” banks, making the results even more ambiguous for analysts and investors trying to calculate where each bank stands.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-stress-tests/new-look-u-s-bank-stress-tests-may-leave-analysts-guessing-idUSKBN23V1KS


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The world is facing a coronavirus debt timebomb as countries borrow trillions of pounds to fight the pandemic, former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King has warned.

“Lord King, who led the Bank through the global financial crisis of 2008-9 before stepping down in 2013, said companies and countries alike could be sunk by the weight of their new loans – potentially triggering another meltdown…”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/06/25/covid-debt-timebomb-could-trigger-new-financial-crisis-warns/


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