The world economic outlook has dimmed again, with rising coronavirus infections and the risk of renewed lockdowns increasing the chances that any rebound will reverse course, according to Reuters polls of over 500 economists globally.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Britain reported its highest number of new COVID-19 infections in more than a month on Thursday, as ministers fretted about a second wave of cases in Europe and warned more quarantine restrictions were possible.
* The epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States showed signs of shifting to the Midwest on Thursday while Sunbelt states were hopeful that new infections and deaths were starting to decline.
* The Trump administration anticipates launching a far-reaching promotions campaign by November to encourage Americans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, contingent on evidence that a successful vaccine will be available roughly by year end.
* The U.S. economy suffered its biggest blow since the Great Depression in the second quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic shattered consumer and business spending, and a nascent recovery is under threat from a resurgence in new cases of coronavirus.
* Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday he was taking antibiotics for an infection that left him feeling weak, chuckling in an online video about “mold” in his lungs, having spent weeks in isolation after catching the novel coronavirus.
* Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam is expected to announce later on Friday a postponement of the Sept. 6 election for seats in the Chinese-ruled city’s legislature amid a spike in coronavirus cases.
* Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte extended novel coronavirus restrictions in the capital, Manila, until mid-August and said the country would be given priority in supplies if China made a breakthrough with a vaccine.
* Japan does not need to reimpose a state of emergency over the novel coronavirus, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, reiterating the government’s stance amid a surge in new infections across the country.
* Vietnam reported 45 new coronavirus infections in Danang, marking the country’s biggest single-day jump in cases, as the health ministry sent more health experts to the central city in a bid to combat the outbreak.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The number of infections from the new coronavirus in Iran has reached 301,530, according to official Health Ministry figures announced on state TV on Thursday.
* Global social distancing rules targeting coronavirus have pushed influenza infection rates to a record low, early figures showed, signalling that the measures are having an unprecedented impact on other communicable diseases.
* An antibody drug already being used against the coronavirus in Cuba decreased the risk of intensive care admission and death among nursing home residents with moderate COVID-19, according to a small study conducted in the island nation.
* Asian shares wobbled in a choppy session as abysmal economic data from the United States and rising global COVID-19 cases weighed on sentiment.
* Oil prices recovered further ground, after touching three-week lows in the previous session, responding to a record decline in U.S. growth as the coronavirus ravaged the world’s biggest economy and oil consumer.