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UK economy bounces back in summer but faces wintry chills – ABC News

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The British economy remained nearly 10% smaller at the end of the third quarter despite posting a record bounceback in the summer, when many of the restrictions that had been placed on businesses to control the pandemic were lifted

LONDON — The British economy remained nearly 10% smaller at the end of the third quarter despite posting a record bounceback in the summer, when many of the restrictions that had been placed on businesses to control the pandemic were lifted. The imposition of new limits on public life in the autumn means the economy will likely end the year even smaller.

The Office for National Statistics said Thursday that the economy grew by 15.5% in the July to September period. Though that was in line with market expectations, the data shows that the recovery was already running out of steam in September, before a resurgence of the coronavirus led to the economically damaging reimposition of new restrictions.

The third quarter growth did not make up for the record 19.8% slump of the second quarter, when much of the economy was shuttered to fight the coronavirus, and the 2.5% fall in the first three months of the year when the virus started to affect everyday life. Despite the third-quarter improvement, the statistics agency said the economy was still 9.7% below where it was at the end of 2019.

The worry is that the economy will shrink again over the winter months after the resurgence of the virus led to fresh curbs on everyday life across the U.K. and amid uncertainty around whether a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union will be reached.

The new restrictions come at a particularly inopportune time for many retailers, with Christmas just around the corner.

Under the terms of the current lockdown in England, nonessential places such as pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, golf courses, gyms, swimming pools, entertainment venues and stores selling items like books, clothing and sneakers, must remain closed until at least Dec. 2. Unlike the spring lockdown, schools and universities in England are remaining open this time, as are construction sites and factories.

The government has responded to the new curbs, announcing that its generous salary support scheme, which sees it paying 80% of the salaries of workers retained by firms rather than fired, will be extended through March.

Treasury chief Rishi Sunak acknowledged that the health measures taken in the past few weeks “mean growth has likely slowed further since then.”

“There are still hard times ahead, but we will continue to support people through this and ensure nobody is left without hope or opportunity,” he said.

In addition to virus developments, the British economy remains hobbled by uncertainty over the future trade relationship between the U.K. and the EU. Discussions between the two sides are continuing Thursday.

Though the U.K. left the EU on Jan. 31, it remains within the bloc’s tariff-free single market and customs union until the end of the year. For a deal to pass the necessary legislative hurdles, an agreement has to be secured soon, potentially over the next few days.

A trade deal would ensure there are no tariffs and quotas on trade in goods between the two sides, but there would still be technical costs, partly associated with customs checks and non-tariff barriers on services.

The government’s current thinking on Brexit is unclear, and appears to have been complicated by bitter infighting within Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 10. Downing Street operation.

Late Wednesday, Lee Cain announced he was quitting as director of communications, a move that has sparked speculation that Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s top adviser, could soon leave, further weakening the pro-Brexit camp. Both Cain and Cummings worked together on the 2016 Brexit referendum campaign that was largely fronted by Johnson.

———

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

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‘No plan’ for economy will work without more access to COVID-19 tests, vaccines: O’Toole – Global News

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Canada will not see economic stability until there is wide access to rapid tests and vaccines for the novel coronavirus, Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole says.

O’Toole made the remarks during a press conference Sunday morning.

“There is no plan for the economy if we don’t have rapid testing and vaccines as swiftly as possible,” he told reporters.

Read more:
Canada ‘in the top 5’ on list to receive coronavirus vaccines 1st: minister

O’Toole’s comments come as the federal Liberal government prepares to release a fall economic update on Monday.

The government has not tabled a budget for this fiscal year, but in July delivered what it called a “fiscal snapshot” that estimated the deficit was heading for a record of $343.2 billion.

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Ottawa to deliver long-awaited economic update amid pandemic


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O’Toole said there can’t be a “full economy, a growing economy, people working, people being productive without the tools to keep that happening in a pandemic.

“Those two tools are rapid tests and a vaccine,” he said.

O’Toole said Canada is “months behind our allies” when it comes to the large-scale rollout and use of rapid COVID-19 tests.

Health Canada has approved more than three dozen different tests for COVID-19, but only six of them are “point-of-care” versions more commonly referred to as rapid tests.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Millions of rapid tests have been delivered to the provinces, however, health officials have been slow to utilize them as questions about best use and reliability remain unanswered.


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Coronavirus: LeBlanc says Canada is in top five to get COVID-19 vaccine


Coronavirus: LeBlanc says Canada is in top five to get COVID-19 vaccine

O’Toole also said it appears as though Canada will be “months behind our allies on vaccines.”

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“These are critical tools,” he said. “The vaccine is the hope we’re all looking for.”

Canada has signed contracts to secure 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, however, the federal government says only six million of those doses — enough to vaccinate three million people — will be in the country by early January for distribution once approved by Health Canada.

However, both the United States and Britain have said they expect to have millions of vaccine doses by next month and expect to have larger portions of their populations inoculated more quickly.

Read more:
Coronavirus cases are soaring but Trudeau’s approval ratings hold steady: Ipsos

O’Toole said Canadians are going to be “rightly frustrated” when other countries are “rolling out millions of doses” of COVID-19 vaccines before Canada.

“I hate to see us trailing,” O’Toole said. “I don’t compare ourselves to the worst response, I want Canada’s response to be the best, that’s why I want to see a plan and I want to see a plan for the economy — we need to get people working.”


Click to play video 'Canada ‘needs a more ambitious procurement program’: Saskatchewan premier on COVID-19 vaccine'



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Canada ‘needs a more ambitious procurement program’: Saskatchewan premier on COVID-19 vaccine


Canada ‘needs a more ambitious procurement program’: Saskatchewan premier on COVID-19 vaccine

O’Toole is not the only one who appears to be frustrated. In an interview with The West Block’s Mercedes Stephenson, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said it is “troubling” that only a small segment of the Canadian population could be vaccinated immediately.

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Moe said the federal government communicated to the country’s premiers how many doses they would receive, adding that the first round of doses will likely treat about 100,000 people in Saskatchewan.

“We need to receive more and we need to receive it in a much more timely fashion,” he said.

Moe said Canada needs a “more ambitious procurement program for sure.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Canada’s lack of domestic manufacturing capabilities for the highly sought-after coronavirus vaccines — several of which use brand new mRNA technology — means it will be slightly further back in the queue than countries that produce the vaccines domestically.

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Still, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said on The West Block on Sunday that Canada is still positioned to be in the “top five” in the global queue for vaccines.

— With a file from the Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Economy

China says official manufacturing PMI for November is 52.1 — beating expectations – CNBC

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Workers producing dolls in a factory in Lianyungang, China’s Jiangsu province.
Stringer | AFP | Getty Images

China said on Monday that manufacturing activity expanded for the ninth straight month in November as the world’s second-largest economy continues to recover from a slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for November came in at 52.1, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. That’s the highest reading in more than three years, as well as better than the 51.5 forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll and October’s official reading of 51.4.

PMI readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below that signal contraction. PMI readings are sequential and show month-on-month expansion or contraction.

The November data showed that the recovery in China’s vast manufacturing sector has accelerated, according to CNBC’s translation of the statistics bureau’s Mandarin-language statement.

Four factors drove manufacturing activity in November, according to Zhao Qinghe, the bureau’s senior statistician.

  • Both supply and demand of Chinese manufactured goods have continued to improve;
  • Imports and exports have also steadily recovered;
  • Prices of both raw materials and output have risen;
  • Prospects of manufacturers of all sizes have improved.

China also released PMI data for the services sector, which similarly showed that activity expanded for the ninth straight month. The official non-manufacturing PMI reading for November was 56.4, compared with 56.2 in October, data by the statistics bureau showed.

Overall, China said its composite PMI for this month came in at 55.7 — inching up from October’s 55.3.

‘Steady and stable recovery’

Analysts said the latest set of economic indicators point to a pick up in China’s economic growth.

“When we look at the data front in China, it’s been showing steady and stable recovery,” Jackson Wong, asset management director at Amber Hill Capital, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Monday after the release of the official PMI data.

Wong said the Asian economic giant is expected to continue on the same path into next year, and could be the only major economy to register growth this year.

Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at consultancy Capital Economics, pointed out that the most “significant development” in China recently is a recovery in household spending. That’s likely to continue given a tightening labor market and improving consumer sentiment, he explained.

“That should further support the rebound in services activity. It should also boost manufacturing, which will continue to benefit too from supportive fiscal policy and strong foreign demand,” he wrote in a note following the official PMI data release.

China, where cases of Covid-19 were first detected, is among the few economies expected to continue growing this year — but at a much slow pace. The International Monetary Fund has forecast the Chinese economy to expand by 1.9% in 2020, slowing from the 6.1% last year.

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‘No plan’ for economy will work without more access to COVID-19 tests, vaccines: O’Toole – Global News

Published

 on


Canada will not see economic stability until there is wide access to rapid tests and vaccines for the novel coronavirus, Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole says.

O’Toole made the remarks during a press conference Sunday morning.

“There is no plan for the economy if we don’t have rapid testing and vaccines as swiftly as possible,” he told reporters.

Read more:
Canada ‘in the top 5’ on list to receive coronavirus vaccines 1st: minister

O’Toole’s comments come as the federal Liberal government prepares to release a fall economic update on Monday.

The government has not tabled a budget for this fiscal year, but in July delivered what it called a “fiscal snapshot” that estimated the deficit was heading for a record of $343.2 billion.

Story continues below advertisement


Click to play video 'Ottawa to deliver long-awaited economic update amid pandemic'



2:24
Ottawa to deliver long-awaited economic update amid pandemic


Ottawa to deliver long-awaited economic update amid pandemic

O’Toole said there can’t be a “full economy, a growing economy, people working, people being productive without the tools to keep that happening in a pandemic.

“Those two tools are rapid tests and a vaccine,” he said.

O’Toole said Canada is “months behind our allies” when it comes to the large-scale rollout and use of rapid COVID-19 tests.

Health Canada has approved more than three dozen different tests for COVID-19, but only six of them are “point-of-care” versions more commonly referred to as rapid tests.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Millions of rapid tests have been delivered to the provinces, however, health officials have been slow to utilize them as questions about best use and reliability remain unanswered.


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: LeBlanc says Canada is in top five to get COVID-19 vaccine'



9:26
Coronavirus: LeBlanc says Canada is in top five to get COVID-19 vaccine


Coronavirus: LeBlanc says Canada is in top five to get COVID-19 vaccine

O’Toole also said it appears as though Canada will be “months behind our allies on vaccines.”

Story continues below advertisement

“These are critical tools,” he said. “The vaccine is the hope we’re all looking for.”

Canada has signed contracts to secure 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, however, the federal government says only six million of those doses — enough to vaccinate three million people — will be in the country by early January for distribution once approved by Health Canada.

However, both the United States and Britain have said they expect to have millions of vaccine doses by next month and expect to have larger portions of their populations inoculated more quickly.

Read more:
Coronavirus cases are soaring but Trudeau’s approval ratings hold steady: Ipsos

O’Toole said Canadians are going to be “rightly frustrated” when other countries are “rolling out millions of doses” of COVID-19 vaccines before Canada.

“I hate to see us trailing,” O’Toole said. “I don’t compare ourselves to the worst response, I want Canada’s response to be the best, that’s why I want to see a plan and I want to see a plan for the economy — we need to get people working.”


Click to play video 'Canada ‘needs a more ambitious procurement program’: Saskatchewan premier on COVID-19 vaccine'



9:25
Canada ‘needs a more ambitious procurement program’: Saskatchewan premier on COVID-19 vaccine


Canada ‘needs a more ambitious procurement program’: Saskatchewan premier on COVID-19 vaccine

O’Toole is not the only one who appears to be frustrated. In an interview with The West Block’s Mercedes Stephenson, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said it is “troubling” that only a small segment of the Canadian population could be vaccinated immediately.

Story continues below advertisement

Moe said the federal government communicated to the country’s premiers how many doses they would receive, adding that the first round of doses will likely treat about 100,000 people in Saskatchewan.

“We need to receive more and we need to receive it in a much more timely fashion,” he said.

Moe said Canada needs a “more ambitious procurement program for sure.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Canada’s lack of domestic manufacturing capabilities for the highly sought-after coronavirus vaccines — several of which use brand new mRNA technology — means it will be slightly further back in the queue than countries that produce the vaccines domestically.

Story continues below advertisement

Still, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said on The West Block on Sunday that Canada is still positioned to be in the “top five” in the global queue for vaccines.

— With a file from the Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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