Russia's Manturov says next week non-working for all factories

Coronavirus: One in 20 Britons have lost job due to virus, YouGov says

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – One in 20 Britons has lost a job because of the coronavirus outbreak and 9 per cent experienced a reduction in hours or pay, according to YouGov.

The survey was taken on the first two days of Britain’s official lockdown, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson banning all unnecessary movement of people for at least three weeks and requiring the closure of non-essential businesses.

There have been about 477,000 new claims for state support payments, according to Mr Peter Schofield, Permanent Secretary of the Department for Work and Pensions.

German Business Confidence Logs Record Fall In March

German business sentiment logged its steepest fall ever recorded since German reunification, as the spread of coronavirus weighed on economic activity, final survey data from ifo Institute showed Wednesday.

The business confidence index fell to 86.1 in March from 96.0 in February. This was the biggest fall since German reunification and reached its lowest level since July 2009. The preliminary reading for March was 87.7.

Sentiment among German managers has become extraordinarily dire, Clemens Fuest, ifo President said. “The German economy is in shock.”

The final survey showed that companies’ expectations darkened as never before. Assessments of the current situation also worsened considerably.

The business situation indicator came in at 93.0 in March versus 99.0 in the previous month and also below the preliminary estimate of 93.8.

At the same time, the expectations index plunged to 79.7 from 93.1. The flash score was 82.0.

In manufacturing, the business confidence index fell to its lowest level since August 2009. Never in the history of a reunified Germany has it fallen so far, the think tank noted.

In the service sector, the business climate indicator reported the greatest fall since the data was first recorded in 2005. At the same time, confidence in trade collapsed. In construction, the index fell comparatively moderately.

ECB Launches EUR 750 Bln Pandemic Bond Purchase Programme

The European Central Bank announced a new EUR 750 billion Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme to combat the risks posed by the outbreak and escalating diffusion of the coronavirus.

At an unscheduled meeting on Wednesday, the governing council decided to launch a new temporary asset purchase programme that covers both public and private securities to counter the serious risks to the monetary policy transmission.

The bank expanded the eligible securities for purchases to non-financial commercial papers and eased the collateral standards which would help banks to get more funds. Greek government bonds are also included in the program.

“Extraordinary times require extraordinary action,” ECB President Christine Lagarde said.

The bank said the net asset purchases will be terminated once it judges that the covid-19 crisis phase is over, but in any case not before the end of the year.

“The Governing Council is fully prepared to increase the size of its asset purchase programmes and adjust their composition, by as much as necessary and for as long as needed,” the ECB said in a statement. “It will explore all options and all contingencies to support the economy through this shock.”

The bank also said it will consider revising self-imposed limits on quantitative easing and not tolerate any risks to the smooth transmission of its monetary policy in all jurisdictions of the euro area.

Walmart Reduces Operating Hours; Adds Senior Shopping Hours

Walmart is reducing its operating hours starting Thursday, and adding special shopping hours for senior customers amid the coronavirus crisis.

Starting Thursday, the retail giant is changing its operating hours to 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Stores that open later than 7 a.m. will continue their regular starting hours. It is an effort to give employees enough time to restock shelves, clean and sanitize the store, Walmart said.

From March 24 through April 28, Walmart stores will host an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday for customers aged 60 and older. Because, they could be more vulnerable to the coronavirus. The special shopping hours will start one hour before the store opens. Pharmacies and Vision Centers will also be open during this time.

Walmart stores will have limits for customers in certain categories including paper products, milk, eggs, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, water, diapers, wipes, formula and baby food.

Walmart will temporarily shut down its Auto Care Centers to allow those employees to focus on stocking and cleaning in the rest of the store.

The retailer said that Vision Centers will operate on their normal schedule, providing essential services only such as glasses repair and helping customers pick up existing orders.

German lawmakers vote to suspend debt brake to fight coronavirus

BERLIN, March 25 (Reuters) – German lawmakers on Wednesday voted in favour of suspending the constitutionally enshrined debt brake for the first time ever to finance an unprecedented aid package meant to help shield Europe’s largest economy from the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber Editing by Michelle Martin)

Russia's Manturov says next week non-working for all factories

MOSCOW, March 25 (Reuters) – Russian Industry Minister Denis Manturov said on Wednesday that no industrial enterprises would operate next week, and only those manufacturers involved in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak would remain open.

In an address on Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin unveiled new measures designed to slow the spread of the virus, declaring next week a non-working week for many Russians and urging people to stay at home. (Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov Writing by Polina Ivanova Editing by Mark Heinrich)