US – Initial Claims
14/02/2020 10:19 am MYT
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The seasonally adjusted initial claims for the week ending 8 Feb 2020 was 205,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week. The 4-week moving average was unchanged from the previous week at 212,000 – see figure 1. Continuing jobless claims for the week ending 1 Feb 2020 registered a seasonally adjusted 1.698 mln, down 61,000 from the previous week, while the 4-week moving average fell 17,500 to 1.727 mln. The US labour market remains tight.

Note from Publisher
The Covid-19 outbreak continues to dominate the global media headlines. As the media focuses on the number of new cases and deaths, it has led to more panic, with people in developed Hong Kong and Singapore rushing to stock up toilet paper, food, and other daily necessities. While the media plays an important role in enhancing the awareness of the virus, it should paint a more accurate picture and not aid in misleading the masses. Death and recovery statistics show that the recovery rate is 4 times higher than the mortality rate. In other words, when one is infected with COVID-19, there is a high chance of recovery.

Meanwhile, after being acquitted of impeachment charges, president Trump is quick to settle scores, ousting key witnesses against him. He also returns to his old protectionism tricks. This week, the US Trade Representative updated its list of countries designated as developing or least-developed under US counter-vailing duty laws. 20 over countries were removed from the list, making it easier for the US to impose countervailing measures against them. Among the countries no longer treated as developing are China, India, Malaysia, Argentina, Brazil, Thailand, and Vietnam. The trade tensions that terrorised the world economy in 2018 and 2019 could return sooner rather than later.
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