Europe Daily Briefing: WHO says Covid-19 'worst still to come', EU ban on US visitors to remain, UK consumer spending slashed

30 June: Your round-up of the issues leading today's agenda

30 June: Your round-up of the issues leading today's agenda

  • The World Health Organization warned the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is still to come because of a lack of global solidarity, according to Bloomberg. More U.S. areas took steps to scale back reopenings, with Arizona closing bars and New Jersey halting plans for indoor dining. Australia’s Victoria state is imposing a four-week lockdown across areas of Melbourne in an attempt to contain a spike in infections. New Zealand will host the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in 2021 using virtual platforms. Tokyo is set to revise how it monitors the state of coronavirus infections.

  • Most visitors from the US are set to remain banned from entering the European Union because of the country’s rising infection rate in a move that risks antagonising Donald Trump, reports The Guardian. In an attempt to save the European tourism season, a list of 15 countries from where people should be allowed into the EU from 1 July has been agreed by representatives of the 27 member states. They are: China (if Beijing reciprocates), Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. Despite leaving the EU on 31 January, the UK has been treated as a member state as it remains part of the bloc’s single market.

  • Britons responded to the coronavirus crisis by slashing spending and saving more as the economy slipped into what may be the deepest slump in at least a century, says Bloomberg. Households saved more of their disposable income in the first quarter than at any time for four years, thanks in part to the closure of all but essential stores after the country went into lockdown on March 23. Nominal household spending plunged by 2.7%, the most on record, as consumers spent less on cars, eating out and clothes. By contrast, incomes were down only marginally.

  • Certain companies are at risk of becoming insolvent as governments lift the pedal on fiscal support, a former member of the European Central Bank warned Tuesday. Many governments have deployed massive fiscal stimulus to mitigate the economic fallout from Covid-19. In most cases, this has allowed firms to avoid bankruptcy and employees to have a job to return to once lockdowns are lifted. However, as this fiscal stimulus eases and without a fully-open economy, some companies will struggle to keep their doors open. “When it comes to corporate solvency, trouble is ahead of us,” Benoit Coeure, who is now head of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub, told CNBC’s Karen Tso.



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