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USA

Yellen supports new allocation of IMF's SDR currency to help poor nations
USA

Yellen supports new allocation of IMF's SDR currency to help poor nations

  • Reversing the opposition of the Trump administration, Yellen told G20 finance officials in a letter that a new SDR allocation could boost liquidity for poor countries, which have been particularly hard hit by the global coronavirus pandemic.
  • Without further international action to support low-income countries, we risk a dangerous and permanent divergence in the global economy.
Published 25 Feb, 2021 08:50pm
Mexican economy ended 2020 stronger than first estimated
USA

Mexican economy ended 2020 stronger than first estimated

  • National statistics agency INEGI said the economy grew by 3.3% in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared with the previous three-month period, revising up its Jan. 29 preliminary estimate that gross domestic product (GDP) had expanded by 3.1%..
  • That is the biggest decline since 1932 during the Great Depression.
Published 25 Feb, 2021 09:03pm
US pending home sales decline in January
USA

US pending home sales decline in January

  • The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said on Thursday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, dropped 2.8% last month to 122.8.
  • Monthly contracts declined in the Midwest, Northeast and West. They inched up in the South.
Published 25 Feb, 2021 08:07pm
Johnson & Johnson's one-dose vaccine closes in on US approval
USA

Johnson & Johnson's one-dose vaccine closes in on US approval

  • J&J also said the data suggested its vaccine cut down on asymptomatic infections, which experts said was another sign COVID-19 vaccines may indeed stop transmission of the disease.
  • That you could still get protection against medically attended illnesses - meaning hospitalization, ICU admission and deaths from that vaccine against the South African strain, I thought that was really encouraging.
Published 24 Feb, 2021 09:33pm
Biden CIA nominee Burns calls China an ‘authoritarian adversary’
USA

Biden CIA nominee Burns calls China an ‘authoritarian adversary’

  • "Out-competing China will be key to our national security in the days ahead," Burns said at his confirmation hearing.
  • He called China "a formidable, authoritarian adversary," that is strengthening its ability to steal intellectual property, repress its people, expand its reach and build influence within the United States.
Published 24 Feb, 2021 09:11pm
Mexican inflation quickens less than expected in early February
USA

Mexican inflation quickens less than expected in early February

  • Mexican annual inflation ticked up to 3.84% from a rate of 3.74% in the second half of January, but undershot the consensus forecast of a Reuters poll for a reading of 3.88%.
  • A breakdown of the data published by the agency known as INEGI showed that fuels and certain fruits and vegetables helped to push up prices in early February.
Published 24 Feb, 2021 08:20pm
Brazil current account deficit 0.65pc of GDP, smallest in 13 years
USA

Brazil current account deficit 0.65pc of GDP, smallest in 13 years

  • The current account deficit of 0.65% of gross domestic product in the 12 months to January was down from 0.87% the previous month and the smallest since February, 2008, central bank figures showed.
  • Brazil's current account deficit in the month of January was $7.25 billion, the second deficit in a row and slightly less than the $7.75 billion shortfall forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.
Published 24 Feb, 2021 08:02pm
Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine effective and safe
USA

Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine effective and safe

  • J&J said in documents submitted to the FDA that its data suggested its vaccine was effective at preventing asymptomatic infections.
  • J&J's vaccine was 66% effective in preventing COVID-19 against multiple variants in a global trial involving nearly 44,000 people, the company said last month.
Published 24 Feb, 2021 07:32pm
Brazil mid-February inflation highest in four years
USA

Brazil mid-February inflation highest in four years

  • That was down from the 0.78% rate of monthly inflation in January, but higher than the median forecast in a Reuters poll of 0.46% and enough to push the annual rate of inflation up to 4.57%.
  • Prices rose in six of the nine groups of goods and services covered by IBGE. Transport costs rose 1.1% in the month, accounting for almost half of the overall monthly increase.
Published 24 Feb, 2021 06:27pm
Venezuela could start receiving COVAX vaccines in May, Guaido advisor says
USA

Venezuela could start receiving COVAX vaccines in May, Guaido advisor says

  • "It depends on how long the license takes," said Dr. Julio Castro, an infectious diseases expert who advises Guaido on health issues, in a text message, estimating they may come in May.
  • Paolo Balladelli, Venezuelan Mission Chief for the Pan American Health Organization, on Saturday via Twitter thanked the opposition and the government for helping advance an agreement on COVAX.
Published 23 Feb, 2021 07:11pm
Biden, Trudeau go online for US-Canada bilateral
USA

Biden, Trudeau go online for US-Canada bilateral

  • Biden and Trudeau will address several mutual priorities, including tackling climate change, revving up the North American economy, the Arctic, and threats to democracy in Myanmar and Venezuela.
Published 23 Feb, 2021 04:56pm
Argentina's president says working to ink IMF debt deal
USA

Argentina's president says working to ink IMF debt deal

  • Speaking at a news conference during a visit to Mexico, Fernandez said he wanted to be "very careful" in his negotiations with the IMF due to the manner in which Argentina had been authorized loans in the past.
Published 23 Feb, 2021 08:26pm
Former US House security chief denies 'optics' dictated Jan. 6 decisions at Capitol
USA

Former US House security chief denies 'optics' dictated Jan. 6 decisions at Capitol

  • Irving said that on Jan. 4, he had discussed the possible use of 125 National Guard troops with then- Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund and former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger.
  • Optics' as portrayed in the media did not determine our security posture ... We did discuss whether the intelligence warranted having troops at the Capitol, and our collective judgment at that time was no - the intelligence did not warrant that.
Published 23 Feb, 2021 08:36pm
Yellen says to judge Biden stimulus on speed of return to pre-pandemic unemployment
USA

Yellen says to judge Biden stimulus on speed of return to pre-pandemic unemployment

  • The current US unemployment rate is 6.3%, compared with 3.5% before the pandemic - a level widely viewed as effectively full employment.
  • Success to me would be if we could get back to pre-pandemic levels of unemployment and see the re-employment of those who have lost jobs in the service sector, particularly - I would also consider them a measure of success.
Published 22 Feb, 2021 09:38pm
US moderates reject Biden budget pick Tanden over 'mean tweets,' risking confirmation
USA

US moderates reject Biden budget pick Tanden over 'mean tweets,' risking confirmation

  • Neera Tanden has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency. Her past actions have demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend.
  • The confirmation fight underscored the influence a small group of moderates will have as Biden seeks to achieve his policy goals in the narrowly divided Congress.
Updated 22 Feb, 2021 10:05pm
US Supreme Court paves way for release of Trump's tax returns
USA

US Supreme Court paves way for release of Trump's tax returns

  • "The work continues," Vance said in a statement issued after the court's action.
  • Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump's lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump's request.
Published 22 Feb, 2021 09:25pm
Biden to revise small business loans to reach smaller, minority firms
USA

Biden to revise small business loans to reach smaller, minority firms

  • Biden administration officials said that for two weeks starting on Wednesday, the Small Business Administration will only accept applications for forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from firms with fewer than 20 employees to ensure that they are not crowded out by larger firms.
  • The Small Business Administration will revise the rules to match the approach used to allow small farmers and ranchers to receive aid, the businesses said.
Updated 22 Feb, 2021 10:05pm
US seeks to extend, strengthen nuclear pact with Iran: Blinken
USA

US seeks to extend, strengthen nuclear pact with Iran: Blinken

  • Working with allies and partners, we will also seek to lengthen and strengthen the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and address other areas of concern, including Iran's destabilizing regional behavior and ballistic missile development and proliferation.
Updated 22 Feb, 2021 10:06pm
Using trade ties to secure doses, Chile moves fast on COVID-19 vaccination drive
USA

Using trade ties to secure doses, Chile moves fast on COVID-19 vaccination drive

  • That puts it in the top 10 globally of larger countries and compares to 172 days for Brazil and over 1,000 days for Mexico, which has faced delays in its inoculation program.
  • This global tragedy perhaps gives us the opportunity as Chileans not just to get a shot in the arm but reach out to people and soothe the nation's soul.
Updated 22 Feb, 2021 10:06pm
Erdogan aims to mend strained relations with the United States under Biden Administration
Middle East

Erdogan aims to mend strained relations with the United States under Biden Administration

  • According to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey wants to improve cooperation with the United States on a "win-win basis", as he aimed to mend the strained relations between the two NATO allies.
  • In recent years, ties between the United States and Turkey have been enormously strained, with the former sanctioning the NATO member in December over its purchase of the Russian S-400 defense systems.
Updated 22 Feb, 2021 10:50am
US factory activity slows in February but supply bottlenecks push up prices
USA

US factory activity slows in February but supply bottlenecks push up prices

  • The data was in line with economists' forecasts, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in manufacturing, which accounts for 11.9% of the US economy.
  • The supply chain bottlenecks, which are widespread across the manufacturing sector as well as the services industry, have led to higher prices for inputs, including raw materials.
Published 19 Feb, 2021 09:05pm