Sunday, 9 May 2021

German Economy Contracts In Q1

Jill Biden plants tree as White House readies for family cat

WASHINGTON — First lady Jill Biden commemorated Arbor Day by planting a linden tree on the north lawn of the White House.

She strode out Friday in a skirt and a double-breasted blazer and put three shovelfuls of dirt around the awaiting tree.

“Who doesn’t plant trees in high heels?” she said.

Biden said that the family’s cat would be coming to the White House “pretty soon.” The first lady told NBC News in an interview broadcast Friday that the younger of the Bidens’ two German shepherds, Major, was being trained for the arrival of the cat. Major has been involved in two biting incidents as President Joe Biden and the first lady have gotten settled into the White House.

“That was part of his training,” she told NBC News. “They took him into a shelter with cats. He did fine.”

The president was asked during the televised interview if the cat was his idea.

“No,” he replied.

Strike ends at Volvo plant in Va. as tentative deal reached

A strike at a Volvo plant in Virginia has ended following a tentative deal between the workers’ union and automaker.

The UAW Volvo Truck Council said Friday that Volvo Truck workers will be scheduled to return to their regular shifts on Monday.

Ray Curry, UAW secretary-treasurer and director of the UAW heavy truck department, said in a statement that the workers achieved “significant gains toward fair pay, benefits and job security protections.”

The council said that details of the tentative agreement will be withheld until UAW members can be briefed prior to taking a ratification vote in the coming days.

Volvo Trucks North America says the five-year contract covers 2,900 workers at the plant in Dublin, Virginia. It also would not release details pending the union’s ratification vote.

Facebook down as users struggle to log on amid reports of major outage

Facebook is down for many UK users with people reporting problems logging in and playing games.

Issues with the social media giant have been reported throughout the day.

It’s not yet clear what’s causing the issues but they are not affecting everybody.

More to follow

Oregon small business owner slams governor's new shutdown order: 'Against our constitutional rights'

Oregon small business owner accuses gov of violating constitutional rights as Costco stays open

Jen Jacobson, owner of Beloved Cheesecakes, blasts Oregon for imposing an indoor dining ban in cities for a third time while chains like Costco remain open.

An Oregon small business owner slammed Gov. Kate Brown on “Fox & Friends” Friday for her decision to shut down indoor dining in the state’s major cities for a third time while chain stores like Costco remain open. Jen Jacobson, owner of Beloved Cheesecakes, said business owners feel like they have been made a “scapegoat” for the spread of the virus. 

JEN JACOBSON: She doesn’t have the authority. It goes against our constitutional rights. I’m essential. I’m a mom.

I’m providing for my family. I don’t know why there’s a target on small businesses and restaurants when I can go to Costco and get my groceries for the week for the shop and be shoulder to shoulder with people.

It’s not right. I don’t know, I feel like we’re being a scapegoat for the COVID spread and it’s not right.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW

BBVA USA Bancshares Turns To Profit In Q1

BBVA USA Bancshares Inc. reported net income of $385 million for the first quarter of 2021 compared to a net loss of $2.2 billion in the first quarter of 2020.

Operating income in the quarter was $349 million, up 16 percent from the first quarter 2020.

Total revenue for the first quarter was $968 million, up 7 percent from first quarter 2020 levels.

Net interest income in the quarter totaled $664 million compared to $589 million in the first quarter of 2020.

Non-interest income, excluding securities gains, for the quarter was $304 million compared to $315 million for the first quarter of 2020.

German Economy Contracts In Q1

Germany’s economy contracted in the first quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic after recovering slightly in the second half of 2020, data published by Destatis revealed on Friday.

Gross domestic product fell 1.7 percent sequentially, in contrast to the 0.5 percent growth seen in the fourth quarter of 2020. This was bigger than the economists’ forecast of -1.5 percent.

GDP, on an unadjusted basis, declined at a faster pace of 3.3 percent annually in the first quarter after easing 2.3 percent in the previous quarter. Economists had forecast an annual fall of 3.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the decline in calendar-adjusted GDP slowed to 3 percent from 3.3 percent.

Compared with the fourth quarter of 2019, the quarter before the coronavirus crisis began, GDP was 4.9 percent lower in the first quarter of 2021.

Destatis said the pandemic has affected household consumption in particular, while exports of goods supported the economy.

A growth engine in the final quarter, the economy has become a drag on the entire Eurozone, Carsten Brzeski, an ING economist said. But not for too long.

Technical factors such as the reversal of stockpiling ahead of Brexit at the end of last year, the impact of the harsh winter weather on the construction sector, and supply chain disruptions have significantly blurred German GDP data in the first quarter, the economist noted.

Eurozone first quarter GDP data is due today. Economists expect the currency bloc to shrink 0.8 percent sequentially after falling 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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