Economics in the News – April 13-19
Economics impacts our lives every day. Below are some of the top storylines from this past week in economic news.
- According to Harvard economics professor N. Gregory Mankiw, the economic recovery stemmed by the coronavirus can go one of two ways. The New York Times gives both of his opinions on the recovery path in a back-and-forth between the optimistic and pessimistic points-of-view.
- A record 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits over the last four weeks, including 5.2 million Americans who filed for benefits during the week ending April 11. The 22 million workers who have lost their job are more than the 21.5 million workers hired since the Great Recession. [USA Today]
- China’s economy, the world’s second largest, shrank by 6.8 percent in the first quarter of this year. The contraction, which stemmed from coronavirus-related shutdowns, is the first acknowledged by China’s National Bureau of Statistics since 1976. [New York Times]
- The International Monetary Fund [IMF] released its economic forecast for the remainder of the 2020 calendar year. The organization expects the global economy to shrink 3% in 2020, the most since the Great Depression. Recovery is expected in 2021.
- Amazon is trying to sell less. Amazon is struggling to keep up with delivery demands from customers with a surge in order volumes. Amazon has removed features on its website of popular recommendations and, according to The Wall Street Journal, intends to cancel Mother’s Day and Father’s Day promotions, along with delaying its annual Prime Day shopping promotion.
- Fewer tables, masked waiters and disposable menus are some ways that restaurants may adapt following the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants expect to make many changes when they eventually re-open for business and sit-down customers. Restaurants will also be forced to adapt to delivery options that are rapidly becoming more popular. [Associated Press]
- The coronavirus pandemic has strained the food supply in the United States, as farmers, processing plants and grocery stores are contending with disruptions. President Donald Trump granted $19 billion in relief for farmers. 60 Minutes reports on the food supply and how food banks across the country are feeding the hungry in this time of need.