Friday, 25 Sep 2020

Amazon is reportedly facing a new antitrust investigation into its online marketplace led by the FTC and attorneys general in New York and California

How the back-to-school debate looms over the U.S. economy

As September draws closer, the entire United States is debating the best way to restart the school year in the new Covid-19 era.

Resuming in-person instruction remains a complicated decision that requires economists, public health officials, federal, state and local governments to work together to find a solution.

It's universally agreed that restarting school is vital for the economic recovery, but the debate remains over how quickly the United States should bring teachers and students back into classrooms.

President Donald Trump and his supporters have been pushing hard for schools to reopen in order for the economy to restart. Trump has cited other countries that have been able to reopen schools as evidence the U.S. can, too.

The spread of coronavirus in the United States has not yet abated, and reopening schools too quickly or without proper planning during a pandemic can put students and teachers at risk.

Watch the video above to find out what the United States can learn from other countries' experiences and what steps the U.S. can take toward getting back to class.

Watch more:
Why taking an ambulance is so expensive in the United States

Chinese unemployment remains high despite economic rebound

Jobseekers have been encouraged to become street vendors to spur the country’s economic growth following historic contraction from COVID-19 outbreak.

China’s economy appears to have rebounded sharply from the coronavirus outbreak after an historic contraction.

But many people are still unemployed. Jobseekers have been encouraged to become street vendors to spur the country’s economic growth.

Al Jazeera’s Katrina Yu reports from Chengdu.

European Economics Preview: Spain Unemployment Data Due

Unemployment data from Spain is due on Tuesday, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

At 2.00 am ET, Statistics Norway is slated to issue retail sales for June.

At 3.00 am ET, Spain’s INE is scheduled to release unemployment data for the second quarter. Economists forecast the jobless rate to rise to 16.7 percent from 14.41 percent in the first quarter.

Half an hour later, Statistics Sweden is set to publish retail sales for June. Sales had increased 0.5 percent on month in May.

At 6.00 am ET, the UK Distributive Trades Survey data is due from the Confederation of British Industry. The retail sales balance is forecast to rise to -25 percent in July from -37 percent in June.

In the meantime, Ireland’s retail sales figures for June are due. Sales had increased 29.5 percent on month in May.

After 2 months of gains, fuel demand slips

Refined fuel consumption in July slipped from June, according to preliminary data, indicating slower industrial activity as high retail prices, floods and renewed COVID-19 lockdowns in parts of India dented demand.

Local fuel sales — a proxy for oil demand — plunged to historic lows in April when India imposed a country-wide lockdown.

State-refiners’ diesel sales, which account for a fifth of overall refined fuel sales in India, fell by 13% to 4.85 million tonnes in July from June, and by about 21% from a year earlier, Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC) data showed.

Falling local sales and subdued refining margins have forced refiners to curtail crude processing. IOC, India’s top refiner, doesn’t see fuel sales recovering to pre-COVID-19 levels in the near future.

Bank of India net triples to ₹844 cr., NPAs decline

Muted loan growth causes dip in NIM

Bank of India on Monday reported a more than threefold jump in first-quarter net profit to ₹844 crore, from ₹243 crore a year earlier.

“Having a feet-on-the-street model, we could deliver good numbers during the quarter,” said A.K. Das, MD and CEO. “This has given hope for the future. We look at the next two quarters with optimism.”

‘Adequate capital’

Mr. Das said the bank was adequately capitalised and, depending on the requirement, would raise more capital. The bank had made a total provision of ₹1,035 crore for COVID-19-related defaults.

Gross NPAs declined to ₹57,788 crore, from ₹62,068 crore in June 2019, while net NPAs also shrank to ₹13,275 crore, from ₹19,288 crore. Gross NPA ratio improved to 13.9%, from 16.5%, while the net NPA ratio came down from 5.79% to 3.58%. The Provision Coverage Ratio improved to 84.9%, from 77.2% in June 2019.

Net interest income was little changed at ₹3,485 crore in the latest quarter. Non-Interest income increased 42.9% to ₹1,707 crore. Net interest margin (NIM) (global) was 2.48% in June 2020, against 2.67% in June 2019. The decline in the NIM, a key metric for banks, was attributed to muted growth in the lender’s loan book.

Moody’s upgrades Yes Bank ratings

Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Yes Bank’s long-term foreign currency issuer rating to B3 from Caa1. It has also upgraded the bank’s long-term foreign and local currency bank deposit ratings to B3 from Caa1, and its foreign currency senior unsecured MTN program rating to (P)B3 from (P)Caa1.

“Yes Bank’s successful equity capital raise of ₹15,000 crore has bolstered its solvency and is the main driver of the ratings upgrade,” it said.

Amazon is reportedly facing a new antitrust investigation into its online marketplace led by the FTC and attorneys general in New York and California

  • The Federal Trade Commission and attorneys general from New York and California have opened a new antitrust investigation into Amazon's online marketplace, Bloomberg reported Monday.
  • The agencies will coordinate on the probe and plan to interview witnesses starting in the next few weeks, according to the report.
  • Amazon has come under increasing scrutiny over potential anti-competitive behavior in recent months following reports that it secretly used its data on third-party sellers to launch competing products.
  • Lawmakers grilled CEO Jeff Bezos over Amazon's treatment of sellers last week in a historic hearing on the growing power of the tech industry. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

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