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Coronavirus: Chinese economy bounces back into growth – BBC News

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China’s economy grew 3.2% in the second quarter following a record slump.

The world’s second biggest economy saw a sharp decline in the first three months of the year during coronavirus lockdowns.

But figures released on Wednesday show China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) returned to growth during April to June.

The numbers are being closely watched around the world as China restarts its economy.

The figure is higher than experts were predicting and points towards a V-shaped recovery – that is, a sharp fall followed by a quick recovery.

It also means China avoids going into a technical recession – signified as two consecutive periods of negative growth.

The bounce-back follows a steep 6.8% slump in the first quarter of the year, which was the biggest contraction since quarterly GDP records began.

The country’s factories and businesses were shutdown for most of this period as China introduced strict measures to curb the spread of the virus

The government has been rolling out a raft of measures to help boost the economy, including tax breaks.

Is this a V-shaped recovery?

Analysis by Mariko Oi, BBC News, Singapore

The Chinese economy managed to grow stronger than expected as the economy emerged from the lockdown.

All the stimulus measures announced by the authorities seem to be working – with factories getting busier, evident in growth in the industrial production data.

But one sector that hasn’t recovered as quickly as they had hoped is retail sales.

They still fell in the second quarter – and getting people spending again will remain a challenge.

And just as the economy starts to recover, tensions with the US are flaring up – especially over Hong Kong.

That is why some economists are reluctant to call it a V-shaped recovery just yet.

A research note from Deutsche Bank said the “V-shaped recovery” was “largely completed”.

“Consumer spending is still below its pre-Covid path, but the remaining gap is largely concentrated in a few sectors – travel, dining, leisure services– where rapid recovery is unlikely,” it added.

In May, China announced it would not set an economic growth goal for 2020 as it dealt with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

It is the first time Beijing has not had a gross domestic product (GDP) target since 1990 when records began.

For the first six months of the year, China’s economy fell 1.6%, its National Bureau of Statistics said.

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Wednesday's list of potential COVID-19 exposure locations – HalifaxToday.ca

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NEWS RELEASE
NOVA SCOTIA HEALTH
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Nova Scotia Health Public Health is advising of potential exposure to COVID-19 at various locations across Halifax. Public Health is currently in the process of contacting all businesses listed below.

Anyone who visited the following locations on the specified date and time to immediately visit covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to book a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms. People who book testing because they were at a site of potential exposure to COVID-19 are required to self-isolate before their test and while waiting for test results. You can also call 811 if you don’t have online access or if you have other symptoms that concern you. 

  • Oxford Taproom (6418 Quinpool Rd, Halifax) on Nov. 17 between 12 noon and 3:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 1.
  • Bearly’s House of Blues & Ribs (1269 Barrington Street, Halifax) Nov. 19 between 9 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 3.
  • The Auction House (1726 Argyle St, Halifax) on Nov. 19 from 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 3.
  • *Corrected time* Mary’s African Cuisine (1701 Barrington St, Halifax) on Nov. 19 between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 3.
  • ROGUE Fitness (6331 Lady Hammonds Rd, Halifax) on Nov. 19 between 6:45 p.m. and 9 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 3.
  • RIO Pilates & Yoga Studio (2470 Maynard St, Halifax) on Nov. 19 between 6:45 a.m. and 9 a.m. and Nov. 20 between 6:45 a.m. and 9 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • Uncommon Grounds (1030 South Park St, Halifax) on Nov. 20 between 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • The Roxbury Urban Dive Bar (1743 Grafton St, Halifax) on Nov. 20 between 9:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • The Midtown Tavern and Lounge (1744 Grafton Street, Halifax) on Nov 20. between 8:45 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • The Split Crow Pub (1855 Granville Street, Halifax) on Nov. 20 between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • Mary’s Place Café II (5982 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax) on Nov. 20 between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4. 
  • Chop Steakhouse & Bar – Sutton Place Hotel (1680 Grafton St, Halifax) on Nov. 20 between 8:30 p.m. and 12 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • Tony’s Famous Donair & Pizza (2390 Robie St, Halifax) on Nov. 21 between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 5.
  • *Corrected date* Sea Smoke Restaurant and Bar (1477 Lower Water St, Halifax) on Nov. 21 from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 5.
  • *Corrected dates* Hermitage Restaurant (1460 Lower Water St, Halifax) at any time between Nov. 18 and Nov. 21. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 5.
  • Dauphinee Centre, Saint Mary’s University (934 Tower Road, Halifax) at any time between Nov. 18 and Nov. 22. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 6.
  • The Stubborn Goat Gastropub (1579 Grafton St, Halifax) on Nov. 22 between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 6.

Please remember:

  • Do not go directly to a COVID-19 assessment centre without being directed to do so.

Currently, anyone travelling to Nova Scotia from outside of the Atlantic Provinces is expected to self-isolate alone for 14 days after arriving. If a person travelling for non-essential reasons enters Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada, then everyone in the home where they are self-isolating will have to self-isolate as well.

When Nova Scotia Health Public Health makes a public notification it is not in any way a reflection on the behaviour or activities of those named in the notification. 

All Nova Scotians are advised to continue monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms and are urged to follow Public Health guidelines on how to access care. Up to date information about COVID-19 is available at novascotia.ca/coronavirus

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Imperial Oil to lay off 200 workers following cost-cutting analysis – CBC.ca

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Calgary-based Imperial Oil Ltd. says it will lay off about 200 of its 6,000 employees as part of a cost-cutting initiative.

The company, which has been reluctant to reduce staff during the current and previous industry downturns, also confirms it has reduced the number of contractors it employs by about 450 since the start of the year.

Imperial committed in March to cut spending by $1 billion, including a $500 million reduction in capital spending plus $500 million in lower operating expenses.

Job cuts at other oil and gas companies

The job cuts are part of a trend by Calgary oil and gas companies who have been reporting reduced earnings on lower commodity prices due to demand destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cenovus Energy Inc. and Husky Energy Inc. have announced they will cut as many as one in four jobs, potentially more than 2,000 workers, if their merger announced in October is closed as expected early next year.

Suncor, meanwhile, has announced it will cut as many as 1,930 jobs over 18 months to reduce total staff by 10 to 15 per cent.

“Throughout the past year, the company responded aggressively to the challenging business environment by reducing capital and operating expenditures and adjusting project pacing,” Imperial said in a posting on its website, adding it has reassessed its current and future business plans.

“We recognize any job losses are difficult for individuals and their families who may be affected. Impacted employees will be provided with company support, including outplacement services.”

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Alberta withdraws from testing of national emergency public alert system – CTV Toronto

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CALGARY —
The majority of Canadians received an emergency alert Wednesday but the notifications did not appear on mobile devices, radios and televisions in Alberta.

The provincial government elected to opt-out of the testing of the national public alerting system, joining Nunavut as the lone holdouts.

In a statement to CTV News, the press secretary for Alberta’s minister of municipal affairs said the Government of Alberta has confidence in its own notification system.

“As Premier Kenney stated yesterday the province will use the Alberta Emergency Alert system to inform people of the new COVID-19 restrictions,” said Justin Marshall. “We opted out of the national alert test to avoid confusion with Alberta’s coming alert. As I’m sure you can understand, too frequent alerts can have the tendency of diminishing the importance.

“Alberta’s focus during this time is on keeping Albertans safe and informed of the measures in place. Nunavut also opted out of the national test today. We are confident that the alert system works for Alberta.”

According to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the testing of the national public alerting system is done “to ensure it operates as intended in the event of a life-threatening situation” and no action is required by alert recipients.

With files from The Canadian Press

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