The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Friday related to the national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.
— Bombardier Aviation is reducing its workforce by about 2,500 employees due to challenges caused by COVID-19. The company said Friday that it had to make the move because business jet deliveries, industry-wide, are forecast to be down approximately 30% year-over-year due to the pandemic.
Bombardier said most of the cuts will impact its manufacturing operations in Canada and will occur throughout the year. It has almost 60,000 total employees. The company anticipates an approximately $40 million charge related to the job cuts.
— Luxury British carmaker Bentley plans to cut up to 1,000 jobs and has warned of the possibility of more to come as it tries to limit the damage caused by the virus outbreak.
The company, which is part of Germany’s Volkswagen Group, said it is looking to make the initial job cuts under a voluntary scheme but that future job cuts may be on a compulsory basis.
Bentley said it has informed its 4,200 workers of a program to significantly reduce the size of the business.
— British Airways is considering legal action against the British government’s plans to force anyone arriving into the country to quarantine themselves for 14 days in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Willie Walsh, the chief executive of International Airlines Group, which runs the British flag carrier, told Sky News he is reviewing the situation with lawyers. He said the “irrational” quarantine rules would “torpedo” the airline’s chances of flying in July.
— Slovakia has lifted the government’s restrictions for traveling to neighboring Austria and Hungary.
Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic says the move becomes effective on Friday. It also enables citizens of Austria and Hungary to travel to Slovakia without any restrictions.
On Thursday, Slovakia reopened for travelers itscommon border with another neighbor, the Czech Republic.
CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS & BANKS:
— The unemployment level in the Czech Republic has been moderately growing amid the pandemic.
Labor Minister Jana Malacova says unemployment reached 3.6% in May, 0.2% more than the previous month. A total of 266,144 Czechs were unemployed in May, 12,104 more than in April.
Analysts have predicted that the unemployment level might reach up to 10% later in the year.
— Malaysia’s government has announced a 35 billion ringgit ($8.2 billion) stimulus to bolster short-term economic recovery. The package, which is in addition to a $60 billion stimulus announced earlier, centers on increasing employment, wooing foreign investment and revitalizing key sectors of the economy. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Friday it included 10 billion ringgit ($2.3 billion) in direct fiscal injection to the economy in the form of wage subsidies, upskilling programs and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises. Various tax breaks and rebates are being given to bolster the manufacturing, property, auto, palm oil, airline and tourism sectors.
MARKETS: Global markets roseFriday in early trading after a stunningly good report on the U.S. job market gave Wall Street’s recent rally another shot of adrenaline.