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The Latest: Coronavirus slams Japan's economy – Yahoo Canada Finance

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The Latest: Coronavirus slams Japan's economy

TOKYO — Japan’s economy shrank at annual rate of 27.8% in April-June, the worst contraction on record, as the coronavirus pandemic slammed consumption and trade, according to government data released Monday.

The Cabinet Office reported that Japan’s preliminary seasonally adjusted real gross domestic product, or GDP, the sum of a nation’s goods and services, fell 7.8% quarter on quarter.

The annual rate shows what the number would have been if continued for a year.

Japanese media reported the latest drop was the worst since World War II. But the Cabinet Office said comparable records began in 1980. The previous worst contraction was during the global financial crisis of 2009.

The world’s third largest economy was already ailing when the virus outbreak struck late last year. The fallout has since gradually worsened both in COVID-19 cases and social distancing restrictions.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— The first Mediterranean cruise sets sail after virus tests.

— High schools are facing tough choices about football season.

— The coronavirus doesn’t appear to have devastated homeless people as initially feared.

— Workers returning to offices after months will see lots of changes, including masks, staggered shifts, spaced-apart desks and daily health questions.

— AP PHOTOS: Masks hold images of pandemic, Hong Kong protests.

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— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 197 newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus, the fourth straight day of triple-digit daily increases, as health workers scramble to slow transmissions in the greater capital area where churches have emerged as major sources of infections.

The figures announced by South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Monday brought the national caseload to 15,515, including 305 deaths. The country reported 279 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, its biggest single-day jump since early May, as government officials expressed concerns about a massive outbreak in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area.

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday chose to delay New Zealand’s national elections by four weeks as the country deals with a new coronavirus outbreak in its largest city, Auckland. The election had been scheduled for Sept. 19 but will now be held on Oct. 17. Under New Zealand law, Ardern had the option of delaying the election for up to about two months. Opposition parties had been requesting a delay after the virus outbreak in Auckland last week prompted the government to put the city into a two-week lockdown and halted election campaigning. Ardern said she wouldn’t consider delaying the election again, no matter what was happening with any virus outbreaks. Opinion polling indicates Ardern’s liberal Labour Party is favoured to win a second term in office.

MELBOURNE, Australia: Australia’s hard-hit Victoria state on Monday recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic with 25 coronavirus fatalities.

The death toll surpasses the previous 24-hour record of 21 set on Wednesday last week.

Victoria’s Health Department recorded 282 new cases, slightly more than 279 new infections posted on Sunday but maintaining a downward trend over the past week.

Victoria posted a record 725 new COVID-19 cases in a day on Aug. 5.

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BEIRUT — Lebanon, still grappling with the aftermath of the Aug. 4 blast that killed 180 people and wounded thousands, has registered a record daily number of coronavirus infections, with 439 people contracting the virus and six fatalities.

The new infections bring to 8,881 the total number of people reported infected in the small country of just over 5 million. Some 103 have died because of COVID-19.

The explosion at Beirut’s port was set off when thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate ignited, injuring about 6,000 people and causing widespread damage across the city. Daily coronavirus cases had already been on the rise, and the explosion made social distancing more difficult for many.

Lebanon’s health sector has been challenged by the pandemic that hit amid a deepening economic crisis. The blast that hit in Beirut’s centre knocked out at least three hospitals in the capital and greatly increased pressure on those still operating.

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ROME — Vacationers arriving in Rome from four Mediterranean countries lined up with their suitcases at Leonardo da Vinci airport to be immediately tested for the new coronavirus on Sunday.

Last week, Italy’s health minister issued an ordinance requiring the tests for all travellers arriving in Italy from Croatia, Greece, Malta or Spain.

Travellers have the option of being tested instead within 48 hours of arrival at local public health offices closer to their home or destination in Italy.

Vacationers coming from abroad are fueling an increase in new coronavirus infections in Italy in recent weeks. On Saturday, the daily caseload of new infections topped 600 for the first time since May.

Alessio D’Amato, health commissioner for Lazio, the region including Rome, said at the airport that concern was mounting about the rising number of infections, especially since school resumes in Italy on Sept. 14, for the first time since the pandemic began.

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LA PAZ, Bolivia — Esther Morales, the 70-year-old sister of former Bolivian President Evo Morales, has died of COVID-19, the ex-leader said Sunday.

“She was like my mother,” tweeted Morales, who was forced to resign last year after an election marred by irregularities.

Morales, who is in Argentina, faces sedition and other charges if he returns to Bolivia. He blamed “racism and political persecution” for preventing him from visiting his sister in a hospital in Oruro, southeast of La Paz.

In the last two weeks, supporters of Morales’ party set up nationwide blockades to protest the recent postponement of elections as Bolivia struggles with the coronavirus pandemic.

While doctors had warned that oxygen and other medical supplies were not reaching some hospitals because of the protests, police said Saturday that most roads had been cleared.

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BRASILIA, Brazil — Michelle Bolsonaro, the wife of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, said Sunday that she had tested negative for the new coronavirus following a July 30 announcement that she had tested positive.

“Negative exam. Thanks for the prayers and for all the expressions of affection,” 38-year-old Michelle Bolsonaro said on Instagram. She published an image of what she said was her laboratory exam. “Undetected,” it read.

On Wednesday, Michelle Bolsonaro’s grandmother died of COVID-19.

Bolsonaro’s youngest son, 22-year-old Jair Renan, has also tested positive for the virus. On Saturday, he released a video in which he takes pills that he says are hydroxychloroquine. The drug has no proven efficacy against the new coronavirus but has been widely publicized by the Brazilian president as a treatment for COVID-19.

President Bolsonaro had said he tested positive for the coronavirus on July 7, suffered mild symptoms and was free of the virus in late July. He has downplayed the devastating impact of COVID-19, often appearing in public without a mask and meeting supporters in close proximity despite social distancing recommendations.

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BERLIN — Bavarian authorities said Sunday they’re still haven’t been able to contact 46 of more than 900 people who tested positive for the new coronavirus upon entering Germany recently, but didn’t receive the results.

The southern German state admitted last week that tens of thousands of travellers returning back home had to wait for weeks to receive their test results — among them the more than 900 who had tested positive but were not aware of it because of the missing results.

The bureaucratic breakdown led to an uproar in Germany over concerns that those who tested positive but were not aware of it could spread the virus to others.

The Bavarian state government said the long delays in getting the results were linked to problems with the software and an unexpectedly high number of people wanting to be tested at newly established test centres , primarily at highway rest stops near the country’s southern borders.

On Saturday, authorities in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate said there had been delays in informing people of their test results in the southwestern state. However, the authorities there were at least able to contact all those who tested positive immediately, the German news agency dpa reported.

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PARIS — After France recorded its highest one-day rise in virus infections since May, the government is pushing for wider mask use and tighter protections for migrant workers and in slaughterhouses.

But France still plans to reopen schools nationwide in two weeks, and the labour minister says the government is determined to avoid a new nationwide lockdown that would further hobble the economy and threaten jobs.

France’s infection count has resurged in recent weeks, blamed in part on people criss-crossing the country for weddings, family gatherings or annual summer vacations with friends. Britain re-imposed quarantine measures Saturday for vacationers returning from France as a result.

France reported 3,310 new infections in a single day Saturday, and the rate of positive tests has been growing and is now at 2.6%. The daily case count was down to several hundred a day for two months, but started rising again in July. Overall France has reported more than 30,400 virus-related deaths, among the world’s highest tolls.

Labour Minister Elisabeth Borne said in an interview published Sunday with the Journal du Dimanche newspaper that the government wants to expand mask use in workplaces.

“We must avoid new confinement at any cost,” she said.

The Associated Press

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Hiring marginalized workers could jumpstart economy, boost incomes by $5K: Deloitte – Preeceville Progress

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TORONTO — A new report by Deloitte Canada says that Canada’s economy was headed for slowing growth in the next decade, even if COVID-19 had never hit.

The consulting and audit firm says that boosting the number of hours worked in the economy would reverse Canada’s economic slowdown and lift the pace of yearly economic growth by 50 per cent, adding $4,900 to Canadians’ average annual income by 2030 without raising tax rates.

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To do that, Deloitte says Canada needs to be more inclusive of groups that are underemployed in the economy, otherwise the number of workers will shrink over the next decade.

The report, which looks at more than 1,000 variables, says Canada has a low fertility rate, and the share of Canadians over age 65 is expected to nearly double.

That means retirees must be replaced in the workforce by underrepresented groups such as women, immigrants, people with disabilities and Indigenous Canadians.

Deloitte suggests that for the economy to grow faster, companies need better disability accommodations, workplace inclusion policies, and childcare benefit packages — while regulators need to expand apprenticeship options and degree equivalencies for immigrants.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2020.

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Healthy US economy failed to narrow racial gaps in 2019

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WASHINGTON — The solid growth that the United States enjoyed before the viral pandemic paralyzed the economy this spring failed to reduce racial disparities in Americans’ income and wealth from 2016 through 2019, according to a Federal Reserve report Monday.

Though Black and Hispanic households reported sharper gains in wealth than white households did, those increases weren’t enough to noticeably narrow the racial gaps. The typical white family possessed eight times the wealth of Black families and five times the wealth of Hispanic families in 2019, the Fed said.

The Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances, released every three years, analyzed incomes and wealth in 2019. The survey found that income for the typical U.S. family rose 5%, adjusted for inflation, from 2016 to 2019 to $58,600. That was weaker than the 9% income gain the typical family received from 2013 through 2016.

The survey provides a trove of information on family finances in the United States, from the percentage of households that own stock (53%) to the proportion that have a retirement account (50%).

While the report shows increases in income and wealth for lower-income and Black families, many economists worry that the pandemic has reversed those gains. Job losses this year have been concentrated among lower-income workers in the restaurant, hotel, retail and travel industries. Those workers are disproportionately non-white.

Some measures did show a narrowing of income disparities. Average income among the wealthiest one-tenth of American families fell 6%, largely because of a steep fall among the richest 1%, Federal Reserve economists said. By contrast, average incomes among the bottom 60% of families rose.

Yet average figures can be skewed by huge incomes at the very top. The Fed report noted, for example, that while average incomes for all families fell 3% from 2016 through 2019, excluding the richest 1%, average incomes rose 3.1%. Income for the richest Americans can fluctuate more sharply year to year than income for lower-income earners, Fed economists said, and likely fell because of smaller gains from stock, bond and property sales.

Economists typically look at median incomes, which reflect the midpoint of all earners, as a way to filter out the extremes. Median income among the poorest one-fifth of Americans rose 3%, while median income for the richest one-tenth increased 6%, the Fed said.

The median family income for whites grew 6%. For Black households, it was slightly better at 7%. For Hispanic families, incomes fell 1%. Median income for white families last year was $69,000, compared with $40,300 for Black families and $40,700 for Hispanics.

Poorer Americans and Black and Hispanic households did gain wealth from 2016 through 2019, mostly from an increase in home ownership and home values. But those increases came from such low levels that they didn’t much narrow overall income disparities, the Fed said.

Black households, for example, reported a 33% gain in net worth and Hispanic families 65%. Wealth in white households increased just 3%. While encouraging, median wealth for white families in 2019 was still much higher, at $188,200, compared with $24,100 for Black families and $36,200 for Hispanics.

Economic research has found that differences in inheritances are a major factor behind the racial wealth gap. A separate Fed note released Monday found that 30% of white families report receiving an inheritance — three times the corresponding proportion of Black families and four times that of Hispanic families.

The richest 1% of Americans owned one-third of the nation’s wealth in 2019, down slightly from nearly four-fifths in 2016. But wealth grew for the next-richest 9% of the population, the Fed said in another research note. So that the richest one-tenth of families owned 71% of wealth, unchanged from 2016.

Christopher Rugaber, The Associated Press

Source: – NEWS 1130 – News 1130

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The coronavirus has now killed more than 1 million people and upended the global economy in less than nine months – CNBC

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The coronavirus has killed at least 1 million people across the globe, a nightmarish milestone in the world’s fight against the virus that emerged from Wuhan, China, late last year, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

Roughly half of the world’s total Covid-19 fatalities have been reported in only four countries — the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico, according to Hopkins data.

The U.S. reached a death toll above 200,000 people last week, more than any other country on the planet. Declared a pandemic over six months ago, the coronavirus has swept through nearly every nation and has infected more than 33 million people along the way, according to Johns Hopkins. It’s shuttered businesses and schools, wreaking havoc on global economies and leaving millions unemployed. 

“One million is a terrible number, and I think we need to reflect on that before we start considering a second million,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s health emergencies program, told reporters on Friday. 

CNBC has compiled a package of stories that will run Monday and Tuesday looking back at how the coronavirus pandemic has changed health care, the economy and society itself since its discovery less than nine months ago. 

Please check back here for links to these coming stories and more as they are published:

A timeline of the insidious path the coronavirus took around the world to kill more than 1 million 

From a wet market in Wuhan, China, the coronavirus infiltrated Asia within weeks of its discovery before traveling to Europe, hitting the U.S. in January in Washington state and New York City. It’s since spread throughout Latin America and now Africa.

Medical historian compares the coronavirus to the 1918 flu pandemic: Both were highly political 

A historical look at how the Covid-19 outbreak compares with the 1918 flu pandemic — from the diseases themselves to resistance to wearing masks during both outbreaks. There was even a 1918 epidemiologist who withstood criticism for his public health recommendations, similar to Dr. Anthony Fauci today.

As coronavirus deaths pass 1 million, health-care workers around the world share stories from the front lines 

From Bangalore, India, to Sao Paulo, doctors and health workers share personal stories about the coronavirus outbreak from across the world.

The coronavirus is shifting the power balance in air travel to last-minute leisure passengers 

Milan is out and the Rocky Mountains are in. The pandemic is turning airlines’ most price-sensitive customers, leisure travelers, into a prize. Carriers are adding more vacation destinations and trying to create softer, gentler policies for a group that has long taken a back seat.

How the U.S. economic response to the pandemic stacks up to the rest of the world

While the U.S. health response to the coronavirus pandemic has faced criticism, the economic response has been among the best in the world. In the throes of the pandemic, the Federal Reserve and U.S. lawmakers moved swiftly to implement unprecedented stimulus aimed at supporting the largest economy in the world during a global halt to economic activity.

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