US – It has been an interesting week for the US, who have appeared in the headlines for several reasons. Firstly, data released on Thursday by the Commerce Department highlighted how the US economy contracted by 32.9% on an annualised basis in the second quarter from the first, marking the steepest decline since records began in 1947. While just about every component of gross domestic product (GDP) should be a drag on growth in the second quarter, the weakness is primarily being led by consumption, or
the lack of it. In order to support the recovery from an economic downturn of this magnitude, the Federal Reserve (FED) left interest rates near zero and vowed to keep them at this level until it was confident that the economy has weathered the storm. The FED also stated that another congressional rescue package would be a good idea, which came after it was announced that many Americans have experienced a cut in their weekly unemployment benefits of $600, resulting in 30 million Americans claiming they didn’t have enough money to eat at some points last week.
Covid-19 – Covid-19 cases continue to climb once more. The US reached over 150,000 fatalities this Wednesday, while many countries have implemented lockdown measures in certain areas once more. In the UK, places like Bradford and Leicester have enforced tighter restrictions to control the resurgence of cases that is most prevalent in these areas of the UK. Figures show that the UK has the highest amount for excess deaths in Europe since between the end of February and the middle of June. Elsewhere Germany is seeing a new spike in cases and Tokyo saw a record number of infections and have since been forced to ask bars and restaurants to shut early to help combat the rising figures.
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