Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020

European Economics Preview: Germany Industrial Output Data Due

U.S. Budget Gap Tops $3 Trillion With Fiscal Year Almost Over

The U.S. federal budget deficit surpassed $3 trillion in the current fiscal year, nearly triple the 2019 gap and leaving the shortfall as a share of the economy on pace to be the largest since World War II.

August’s $200.1 billion deficit, which little changed from the same month in 2019, pushed the fiscal year’s total past $3 trillion, Treasury Department figures showed Friday. Last year, over the same 11 months, the nation’s budget shortfall was a little more than $1 trillion.

Spending so far this year has exceeded $6 trillion amid a massive government fiscal push to cushion Americans from the pandemic-related lockdown of the economy months ago. At the same time, revenue is slightly less than what it was in the first 11 months of fiscal 2019. The Congressional Budget Office projected earlier this month that the 2020 deficit would be 16% of gross domestic product, the biggest since 1945.

Receipts in August fell 2.1% from a year ago, while spending declined 1.2%, the Treasury’s report showed.

Outlays for federal additional unemployment compensation program totaled $22.5 billion, compared with $73.4 billion a month earlier, after the $600 supplemental weekly jobless payments ended in July. Outlays for state unemployment benefits totaled $31.2 billion after $36.1 billion in July.

Israel-UAE deal: Settler movement could still benefit from plan

Palestinians have long accused Israel of an undeclared, creeping form of annexation on the ground.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates will sign their deal normalising relations at the White House on Tuesday.

The agreement involves Israel shelving plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

And that has prompted protests from leaders of Israeli illegal settlements.

But many of them could end up benefitting from the deal, as Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett reports.

Driver hits, kills man in wheelchair after running red light, Denver police say

A driver struck and killed a man in a wheelchair Friday morning after allegedly running a red light in Denver’s West Colfax neighborhood, police said.

The incident occurred at West Colfax Avenue and North Irving Street, Denver police tweeted just before 7:30 a.m.

Police said the driver ran a red light, hitting the man in the wheelchair. The victim was transported to the hospital, where he later died.

The driver, who was not identified, was cited for careless driving resulting in death, police said.

Florida Ex-Felons Must Pay Fines to Vote, Appeals Court Rules

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis won a federal appeals battle to let stand legislation requiring ex-felons who are otherwise eligible to vote to pay all their court fees and victim restitution before they can cast ballots — a law that could bar thousands of people from the polls in the swing state.

The decision, which overturned a lower court order, was issued today by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta.

“States may restrict voting by felons in ways that would be impermissible for other citizens,” Chief Judge William Pryor wrote in the majority opinion.

COVID-19 pandemic: New York takes small steps towards normalcy

So far, more than 23,000 people have died of COVID-19 in New York City.

Things are looking up in New York City, once the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

The numbers of deaths linked to COVID-19 are in single digits, and the infection rate is down substantially.

But life in the city that never sleeps is still not what it was.

Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo reports.

We went inside a West Bank factory to see how people make soap out of olive oil

  • Olive oil soap has been manufactured in the West Bank for centuries.
  • Today, there are only two soap factories in operation in the West Bank, and a once thriving industry is struggling to stay afloat.
  • We went inside the Nablus Soap Company to see how traditional Palestinian olive oil soap is made from olive oil, baking soda, and water.
  • View more episodes of Business Insider Today on Facebook.


Crude Oil Futures Settle Slightly Higher

Crude oil prices recovered after an early setback on Friday, and despite staying sluggish for much of the day’s session, managed to close slightly higher.

Persisting worries about the outlook for energy demand due to a continued surge in coronavirus cases and data showing higher crude inventories weighed on the commodity and limited its upside.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for October ended up $0.03 or about 0.08% at $37.33 a barrel. WTI crude oil futures lost over 6% for the week.

Brent Crude futures advanced $0.16 or about 0.4% to $40.22 a barrel.

U.S. crude inventories increased by about 2 million barrels last week compared to expectations for a drop of 1.3 million barrels.

According to reports, traders are looking to book tankers to store crude oil and diesel as energy demand appears to be trending down to due to the rise in new coronavirus cases.

Reports say U.S. gasoline demand fell nearly 2% in the last week of August compared to a week earlier.

Rapidly surging coronavirus cases in India resulted in an about 20% drop in oil demand from the country compared to a year ago.

According to Baker Hughes, weekly active oil-rig count in the U.S. has dropped by 1 to 180 this week. Total weekly drilling-ring count has come down by 2 to 254, the report said.

European Economics Preview: Germany Industrial Output Data Due

Industrial production from Germany is due on Monday, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

At 2.00 am ET, Destatis is slated to issue Germany’s industrial output data for July. Economists forecast production to grow 4.7 percent on month, slower than the 8.9 percent increase in June.

In the meantime, industrial output from Norway and foreign trade figures from Finland are due.

At 2.45 am ET, France current account data for July is due.

At 3.00 am ET, the Czech Statistical Office is scheduled to publish industrial production and foreign trade figures for July. Industrial output is expected to fall 7.2 percent on year, smaller than the 11.9 percent decrease in June.

Half an hour later, the UK Halifax house price data is due.

At 4.30 am ET, Eurozone Sentix investor confidence survey data is due. The investor sentiment index is seen at -10.5 in September versus -13.4 in August.

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