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World tourism losses may exceed US$1.2 trillion: Global virus update

Key Developments:

Global Tourism Industry’s Losses May Exceed $1.2 Trillion

The global tourism industry will lose at least $1.2 trillion this year amid crippling travel restrictions and consumer wariness during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

The losses, equal to 1.5% of the world economy, could balloon to $3.3 trillion if the hit to international leisure travel persists until March 2021, with the harshest effects afflicting developing and island nations, according to the Geneva-based agency’s report.

Yale to Hold Almost All Courses Online

Yale University plans to hold almost all classes next semester online while also allowing some students to attend on campus.

The Ivy League school will allow graduate and professional school students and a portion of the undergraduate class to be on campus, according to a letter Wednesday from President Peter Salovey and Provost Scott Strobel.

Macy’s Takes $3.1 Billion Charge On Pandemic

Macy’s Inc. recorded a $3.1 billion charge in the first quarter as the pandemic ravaged retail, even as sales have started to track ahead of expectations in the two months since.

The department-store chain took the pre-tax goodwill charge, in addition to an $80 million impairment charge related to long-lived assets, after its long-term projections and market capitalization were hit by the Covid-19 pandemic that has battered traditional retailers across the world.

Pfizer, BioNtech Vaccine Trial Shows Promise

An early trial of an experimental coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNtech SE showed it’s safe and prompted patients to produce antibodies against the new virus, keeping it in the lead pack for a pandemic shot.

EU Members ‘Far Apart’ on Recovery, Budget Talks

European Union member states remain “far apart” in talks on a coronavirus recovery fund and the bloc’s next budget, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on the first day of Germany’s six-month EU presidency.

The warning came amid efforts to bridge differences ahead of a July 17 summit meeting at which the 27-member bloc will seek to advance plans for a 750 billion-euro ($840 billion) rescue package.

Germany Has Enough Supplies of Remdesivir

Germany’s has secured sufficient supplies of remdesivir, a spokesman for Health Minister Jens Spahn told local media, and expects EU approval for the COVID-19 treatment to be finalized later this week.

The Guardian reported on Tuesday that the US has bought three months’ worth of global supplies of Gilead’s drug.

Pizza Hut, Wendy’s Operator Seeks US Bankruptcy

NPC International Inc., the largest franchisee of Pizza Hut restaurants in the US, filed for bankruptcy after coronavirus-related shutdowns added to competitive pressures in the restaurant industry. The closely held company opened its first Pizza Hut restaurant in 1962 and operates more than 1,225 Pizza Hut and over 385 Wendy’s stores, according to its website.

Airbus Begins Biggest Restructuring With 15,000 Jobs to Go

Airbus SE embarked on the most extensive restructuring in its history, setting out plans to cut 15,000 civil-aerospace jobs worldwide as it attempts to steer through the crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The European manufacturer will eliminate more than 10,000 positions across its main bases in Germany and France, part of an 11% reduction in global headcount, according to a statement on Tuesday. Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury has said the company’s output will be 40% lower than expected for two years due to a dramatic slump in demand for aircraft, and has previously warned it is bleeding cash.

Singapore PM Says Country Has Controlled Spread

Singapore has controlled the spread of the coronavirus and kept fatality rates low, the country’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says in a letter posted to his Facebook page.

Singapore is still recording more than 200 new cases of the coronavirus a day, with its overall tally at 43,907 infections, the second-highest in Southeast Asia. The country was criticised for not tackling an outbreak among migrant workers quickly enough, which saw authorities impose a stricter lockdown in place of a more open original strategy.

IMF Sees Asia’s Pain Persisting

Asia’s loss of economic output due to the deadly coronavirus will likely persist until 2022, according to the International Monetary Fund. The assessment is a warning about the prospects for a global recovery after the pandemic tipped the world economy into its worst collapse since the Great Depression. The Asia region contributed about 68% of global growth in 2019, according to the IMF.

While regional growth is tipped to rebound to 6.6% next year, that won’t be enough to replace all of the output lost due to the crisis.

Australian State Shuts Border to Virus Hotspot Residents

New South Wales, Australia’s most-populous state, said residents of 10 virus hotspots in neighboring Victoria would face six months in jail or a fine of A$11,000 if they attempt to cross the border.

Ten areas of Melbourne will go into lockdown shortly before midnight as authorities attempt to crush a spike in coronavirus infections. Victoria sate has experienced two weeks of double-digit increases in new COVID-19 cases after social distancing restrictions were eased.

Mexico Cases Jump; Aeromexico Files for Chapter 11

Mexico reported 5,432 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total 226,089, according to data released by the Health Ministry. Deaths rose 648 to 27,769.

Grupo Aeromexico SAB, Mexico’s second-largest airline, said it filed for bankruptcy in the US, becoming the latest in a string of Latin American carriers to seek court protection after the COVID-19 pandemic caused a severe downturn in travel. The carrier will continue operating, it said in a statement to the Mexican stock exchange.

UK Firms See Record Sales Slump

Hopes of a swift recovery for the UK economy could be dashed, according to a survey that revealed the parlous state of Britain’s businesses.

Measures of sales, orders and cashflow in the nation’s dominant services sector have plunged by the most in the 31-year history of the British Chambers of Commerce’s quarterly survey. Demand for goods from manufacturers also dropped in the three months through June, with sentiment in the industry sliding to the weakest level since the financial crisis.

The findings add weight to concerns the economy will struggle to rebound quickly from the pandemic.