Blog Archive


China Economy Grows 4.9% as Rest of World Struggles With Coronavirus

BEIJING—Chinese officials said Monday that gross domestic product expanded by 4.9% in the third quarter from a year earlier, putting China’s economy back toward its pre-coronavirus trajectory half a year after the pandemic gutted its economy.

The 4.9% growth figure for the third quarter fell short of expectations but brings China’s trajectory closer in line with forecasts made at the beginning of the year for 2020 growth of between 5.5% and 6%—forecasts made before the pandemic swept across the globe, killing more than a million people and crushing the global economy.

The third-quarter expansion builds on the second quarter’s 3.2% growth, which follows a historic contraction of 6.8% in the first three months of the year, when authorities locked down the central Chinese city of Wuhan in a bid to curb the fast-spreading virus.

The International Monetary Fund is projecting China’s economy to expand by 1.9% in 2020, putting it

Read More
  • October 23, 2020

A Small Virginia City Struggles to Save Its Local Businesses | Virginia News

By PAUL WISEMAN, AP Economics Writer

WINCHESTER, Va. (AP) — In a normal year, hundreds of book lovers would have descended on Winchester this summer for Shenandoah University’s annual children’s literature conference.

Some would have made their way to Christine Patrick’s bookshop downtown. Winchester Brew Works would have rolled out kegs this month for Oktoberfest revelers. The Hideaway Café, occupying a prime location at the corner of Cork and Loudoun streets, would be advertising its monthly Divas Drag Show.

But 2020 is no normal year. The literature conference, Oktoberfest and drag shows have all been cancelled — casualties, like so much else, of COVID-19.

The pandemic has hammered small businesses across the United States — an alarming trend for an economy that’s trying to rebound from the deepest, fastest recession in U.S. history. Normally, small employers are a vital source of hiring after a recession. They account for nearly half

Read More
  • October 15, 2020

As the U.K.’s coronavirus testing system struggles, the health secretary blames too many ‘inappropriate’ tests

Our mission to help you navigate the new normal is fueled by subscribers. To enjoy unlimited access to our journalism, subscribe today.

The U.K.’s coronavirus-testing system is overloaded, and the government’s health chief has identified the culprits: people who get tests despite having no COVID-19 symptoms.

“In the last couple of weeks we have seen an increase in demand including…from people who are not eligible for tests, people who don’t have symptoms,” Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said in a Wednesday interview with Sky News. “About 25% of people who are coming forward don’t have symptoms, and aren’t eligible.”

These, apparently, are the people responsible for a situation in which others are being asked to travel hundreds of miles to get tests, and many of those trying to apply online—symptomatic or not—get an error message.

A leading figure in the U.K.’s testing regime has also

Read More
  • September 9, 2020

Brits flock to Portugal’s Algarve as quarantine rules lifted, airport struggles

By Catarina Demony

LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal is sending border control reinforcements to an airport in the sunny Algarve as authorities struggle to cope with a surge in arrivals of British tourists after quarantine rules were lifted last week.

The decision to send more officers to the airport in Faro on Portugal’s southern coast, a popular destination for Britons, came after a picture shared online by a lawmaker on Thursday showed a long queue of hundreds of tourists not social distancing.

“Airport staff were all sent home, the airport is not at all prepared for the flood of people coming in,” one Twitter user commented on the picture. “The English traded holidays in Spain and France at the last minute to come to the Algarve.

“Special measures are urgently needed.”

The number of passengers arriving from Britain has grown by a whopping 190% since Portugal was removed from Britain’s COVID-19

Read More
  • August 28, 2020

As London struggles to regain its mojo, Treehouse is blazing the trail for hotels in the city

Treehouse hotel, London
Treehouse hotel, London

I felt a twinge of apprehension as I walked towards Treehouse in London for my first hotel stay since lockdown. Not because I was afraid of catching coronavirus, more because the thought that hotels, like the high street, would be condemned to a drab and depressing “new normal” had filled me with dread for weeks.

Treehouse, a relatively new hangout that opened in September last year, is just off a stretch of Marylebone that is usually heaving with students from the London College of Fashion, and BBC staffers nipping into Pret A Manger. But on this blistering summer’s day it was chillingly deserted, save for a few workmen digging up part of the road.

When I stepped into the ground-floor café – which, for the time being, doubles up as the check-in desk – it was as if I was both entering the post-millennial era and going

Read More