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Feds establishing guidelines to reopening economy, won't be as easy as 'flipping a switch': PM – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
In an effort to temper expectations, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to reopening the economy and while it may happen more quickly in one province, others will have to remain patient.

Trudeau said he and his team will work with provincial and territorial leaders on a set of guidelines for lifting economic and social restrictions in the following weeks, while upholding core public health measures.

“I want to be clear that getting back to normal will not happen overnight. It’s going to take time. It won’t be as simple or as easy as flipping a switch. It will require a lot of coordination at the national level. In our government we’ll be there to do that work,” Trudeau said during a press briefing at Rideau Cottage.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe was the first leader to lay out a comprehensive five-step plan on Thursday, about how his government plans to get the economy going again. Ontario Premier Doug Ford has also hinted at a plan that could see relaxation of restrictions as early as Victoria Day long weekend. Ford on Friday said the approach would be broken down further by region given how varied the impact of COVID-19 has been in suburban and urban areas.

“We will be working with the provinces and territories to establish principles and guidelines to start reopening the economy, safely. Over the coming weeks, you will hear more talk about reopening, but you need to know, we’re not out of the woods,” said Trudeau.

On top of following public health measures unique to individual provinces, Trudeau said all Canadians need to remember basic guidelines outlined by Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam: frequent hand washing, staying home as much as possible, and keeping a safe distance between people.

As provinces’ plans to reopen their economies will be inconsistent, so were their plans to close down. Throughout March, states of emergency and public health emergencies were declared as COVID-19 spread throughout the country. Similar measures were implemented at the municipal level as well. All provinces and territories have extended these guidelines until at least the end of April.

More to come…

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Province's decision to reopen economy still lacks some clarity: CFIB – HalifaxToday.ca

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The Atlantic Vice President of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says he’s pleased with the province’s decision to reopen the economy, but adds it still lacks some clarity.

On Wednesday, Premier Stephen McNeil announced the province’s next steps to reopening the economy, saying businesses that were required to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to restart operations on June 5.

Jordi Morgan told NEWS 95.7 he’s happy to hear this, but adds there are still some questions that need to be answered.

“It remains to be seen how well this happens because we’re still not entirely clear on what all the requirements are for these individual businesses,” said Morgan.

Morgan is also pleased with the province’s new small business reopening and support grant, a $25 million fund that will help businesses welcome back customers safely.

“Very happy to see that because there are a number of businesses that are going to require some bridging to reopen, invest in personal protective equipment and other things that are necessary in order to operate the business,” said Morgan.

He says once they get all the guidelines in place, they’ll have a better idea of how to operate and keep both the public and employees safe.

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Nearly 40% of the economy may vanish in Q2 because of COVID-19, but then do something surprising – Yahoo Canada Finance

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The S&P 500 has crossed the 3,000 level again and investors are clearly riding high on hope for a second half economic recovery post the worst of COVID-19.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="But that doesn’t mean the market is immune to a pullback this summer primarily because the economic data will likely continue to be horrible. Remember bulls, the U.S. economy has been kicked in the face by the pandemic, and a rebound won’t happen overnight simply because states are reopening. Corporate sales and profits remain under severe strain, sending many off to explore bankruptcy or cut thousands of workers even with quarantines being lifted.” data-reactid=”17″>But that doesn’t mean the market is immune to a pullback this summer primarily because the economic data will likely continue to be horrible. Remember bulls, the U.S. economy has been kicked in the face by the pandemic, and a rebound won’t happen overnight simply because states are reopening. Corporate sales and profits remain under severe strain, sending many off to explore bankruptcy or cut thousands of workers even with quarantines being lifted.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“We think that the reported unemployment rate may be around as high as 20% in May,” Barclays chief U.S. economist Michael Gapen warned on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade. The unemployment rate in April increased by 10.3 percentage points to 14.7%.” data-reactid=”18″>“We think that the reported unemployment rate may be around as high as 20% in May,” Barclays chief U.S. economist Michael Gapen warned on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade. The unemployment rate in April increased by 10.3 percentage points to 14.7%.

Gapen believes the U.S. economy may contract a whopping 40% annualized in the second quarter, then surprisingly grow by 25% in the third quarter and 8% in the fourth quarter.

Part of Gapen’s cautiousness on the economy in the second quarter stems from his outlook on the consumer, which comprises two-thirds of the U.S. economy as is often cited.

A woman shops for clothes Wednesday, May 27, 2020, in Los Angeles. California moved to further relax its coronavirus restrictions and help the battered economy. Retail stores, including those at shopping malls, can open at 50% capacity. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
A woman shops for clothes Wednesday, May 27, 2020, in Los Angeles. California moved to further relax its coronavirus restrictions and help the battered economy. Retail stores, including those at shopping malls, can open at 50% capacity. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

“I think when we move into the third quarter, the savings rate will start coming down. All else equal, we are expecting the consumer to remain cautious. I think you will see a blend. Some return to normalcy, but it will take time,” Gapen explains. “Negative wealth is still at play. Equity markets are doing well, but the average household may not feel that. And I think that there will be caution and a preference for saving.”

To be sure, recent economic data warrants the markets taking a short-term breather.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Another 2.123 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits&nbsp;in the week ending May 23. Over the past 10 weeks, more than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance. U.S. durable goods orders tanked 17.2% in April, U.S. Commerce Department data showed Thursday. Durable goods dropped 16.6% in March.” data-reactid=”34″>Another 2.123 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending May 23. Over the past 10 weeks, more than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance. U.S. durable goods orders tanked 17.2% in April, U.S. Commerce Department data showed Thursday. Durable goods dropped 16.6% in March.

Pending home sales in April fell 33.8% year over year, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. That marked the biggest decline since January 2001.

“I think the market has priced in that April is probably the worst of the economic data,” explained Sevens Report Research founder Tom Essaye. “While it looks like the worst is behind us — which is great — we need to start to see more improvement.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.” data-reactid=”37″>Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance” data-reactid=”38″>Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, SmartNews, LinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit.” data-reactid=”50″>Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, SmartNews, LinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit.

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France Paves Way for Economic Restart After Taming Virus – BNNBloomberg.ca

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(Bloomberg) —

France will lift domestic travel restrictions and allow most bars, restaurants and museums to reopen as the country slowly unfreezes its economy following weeks of stringent controls to contain the coronavirus epidemic.

While France won’t completely return to normal, it can ease restrictions starting on Tuesday as confinement measures proved more effective than expected in combating the spread of the disease.

“Freedom will finally become the rule again, and prohibition the exception,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Thursday, following a cabinet meeting. “The results in terms of public health are good, even if we remain cautious.”

From the coming weekend, the state will accelerate plans to restart schools, reopen parks and scrap a rule limiting travel within France to 100 kilometers. The government favors opening internal European Union borders from June 15, while leaving a decision on travel beyond the bloc to the EU.

In areas including Paris and the surrounding region, lifting curbs will be slightly slower. Bars and restaurants will only be able to open outdoor spaces, and sports centers will not open until the next phase starting June 22.

France is following other major European economies in relaxing restrictions on the public. Germany has already undertaken a broad restart of businesses. In Spain, cafes and restaurants in Madrid and Barcelona re-opened this week, and foreign tourists should be allowed in again from July without a two-week quarantine.

Greece is also relaxing curbs on travels, re-opening restaurants and allowing foreign tourists from mid-June.

‘New Front’

Economic pressure to relax the rules was mounting in France after it implemented one of the strictest lockdowns. For two months, locals were banned from going more than one kilometer away from their homes without a justification.

The government eased some restrictions earlier this month, following a drop in the number of severe Covid-19 infections. But the economy has continued to suffer with activity around 21% below normal levels, according to estimates from national statistics agency Insee, which expects France’s 2020 contraction to be deeper than the 8% the government forecast.

“A new front is opening today: The country will have to fight against the impact of a historic recession,” Philippe said.

The French state has already announced a plan to revitalize the car industry and will announce another plan for the aircraft sector next week.

The government has also earmarked 18 billion euros ($20 billion) for the hard-hit tourism industry, which represents around 7% of GDP. France has suggested domestic tourism would be possible during the summer with some restrictions, but that trips to foreign countries could remain on hold.

Read More: Tourism Slump Has Holiday Destinations Scrambling

The restaurant and hotel industry has warned that social-distancing measures could dent profitability in the long run, as fewer people will be able to be catered to and costs will rise.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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