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World Business Report


The latest business and finance news from around the world from the BBC

The latest business and finance news from around the world from the BBC


United Kingdom




The latest business and finance news from around the world from the BBC






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Coronavirus: Are we on the road to recovery?

In some countries, there are signs the economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis may be starting. As businesses re-open, their owners and consumers say they feel slightly more confident about the future. A key question is what the recovery will look like. Organisations representing 40 million health workers globally are calling for a re-engineering of the economy as it re-opens. One key element which would allow life to get back to normal is the development of a vaccine. Russell Padmore...


Update: Scandal grows for UK adviser who broke lockdown rules he wrote

Dominic Cummings gave a press conference started with a statement – which he said he should have given earlier, and which Boris Johnson had asked him to relay to the public. In it Mr Cummings outlined events that saw him drive his family 260 miles to County Durham.


South Africa to ease lockdown

The president of South Africa has warned that the country's coronavirus outbreak is going to get much worse, while announcing that lockdown measures are to be eased. Cyril Ramaphosa said a third of the country's more than 22,000 cases had been recorded in the last week. Despite that, the president said the current lockdown could not be sustained indefinitely. We look into which businesses will be allowed to operate and under what conditions. Also in the programme, the British government is...


Where next for oil?

We take you through everything you need to know about where the oil markets are right now. More trouble could be brewing for Venezuela, where the first of five sanctions-busting Iranian tankers is delivering petrol to South America's most economically ravaged nation. Ellen Wald at the Atlantic Council explains the implications. We also take a look at how the recent oil price turbulence has affected Saudi Arabia's ambitions to steer its economy away from its reliance on oil. Michael...


Update: US debt approaching GDP

US debt is expected to equal the country's GDP due to emergency coronavirus spending. This has many analysts worried, but the financial markets seem unperturbed. Chris Low of FHN Financial in New York explains the calm.


Hong Kong market falls over security law concerns

Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 5.6% amid concerns over a new security law proposed by China. Tara Joseph is president of the American Chamber of Commerce and believes fresh tension over Hong Kong's future could put trade relations between the US and China firmly back in the deep freeze. Also in the programme, with government debt in the United States expected to rise this year to the value of the country's entire GDP, the BBC's Michelle Fleury considers the implications. Following a devastating...


Update: US joblessness at drastic proportions

Nearly 39 million people have applied for unemployment assistance due to coronavirus. Some people are predicting a quick recovery for a lot of those people, but Nicolas Bloom, professor of economics at Stanford University, is far less sanguine about it. Also in the programme, Cary Leahey of Decision Economics in New York explains why market traders seem unconcerned by those jobless numbers.


Can Spain’s tourism sector recover?

As Spain opens up amid coronavirus concerns, we ask when its tourism sector might recover. Beatriz Lorenz is a tour guide on Tenerife, and thinks that tourists may stay away. Diego Barranca runs a holiday rental company in Marbella, and is worried about a proposed 14 day quarantine for visitors from overseas. And journalist Ivan Gelibter gives us his thoughts on the prospects for economic recovery. Also in the programme, as a number of airlines announce plans to take to the skies once more,...


Update: Expedia posts quarterly loss amid COVID-19

Travel company Expedia has posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss amid the travel stoppages linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. The BBC's Zoe Thomas explains what this bodes for global air travel for the rest of the year. Also in the programme, Susan Schmidt of Aviva Investors in Chicago explains why market traders are cautiously optimistic on countries ending their lockdowns, and we'll hear how so many people in home confinement has led to a resurgence in Jigsaw puzzle sales.


Rolls Royce to cut 9,000 jobs amid virus crisis

Plane engine maker Rolls Royce is to axe nearly a fifth of its workforce. The firm’s chief executive Warren East discusses the crisis that has engulfed the aviation sector. And Ben Katz, aviation and aerospace reporter for the Wall Street Journal examines the likely impact of the job losses. Also in the programme, the central bank of Venezuela has launched legal proceedings to try to force the Bank of England to release a billion dollars worth of Venezuelan gold it holds in its vaults, which...


Update: Assessing the US government's coronavirus relief measures

Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, gave evidence to the Senate banking committee over how the nearly $3 trillion federal rescue programs was rolled out. Joe Saluzzi rounds up the day on Wall Street.


China imposes tariffs on Australian barley

We ask why China has imposed an 80% tariff on Australian barley imports. Sinead Mangan is a business correspondent from ABC in Australia and discusses a theory that the tariffs may be Chinese retaliation for a call from Australia for an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus outbreak. And we hear the impact on Australian agriculture from farmer Andrew Weidemann, who is also chairman of Grain Producers Australia. Also in the programme, we look in detail at the consequences for...


Update: Uber announces job loss plan

Uber proposes cuts in some of its most ambitious projects. India's famous film industry has moved from the big screen to the small screen, as Amazon streams some of its biggest hits. We speak to Shashi Baliga, film expert, about how long term the move can be. Plus, we get the latest on the stock markets from Susan Schmidt of Aviva Investors in the US.


Italy opens for business

We ask how confident businesses and customers are in Italy as ten weeks of lockdown relax. Cristina Caroli runs a coffee house in Bologna, and tells us what it felt like to be open again. With hotels also allowed to reopen, we discuss the implications of a lack of tourists with Fabio Primerano of the Lombardy Hoteliers Association, who also runs hotels in Milan and Rome. And we consider the economic damage of the crisis with Professor Michele Geraci, who is an economist and was an...


Brazil Covid-19 infections overtake previous records

Brazil overtakes both Italy and Spain to become the country with one of the largest number of coronavirus infections in the world. Meanwhile, the island nation of Cuba has recruited its small private sector to be at the forefront of efforts to combat the virus, as the BBC’s Will Grant reports. Canada may be the place to watch as a bellwether for when economies start to recover, as economist Michael Hughes takes us through the unorthodox measurements some are looking to for some positivity....


Update: Trump outlines plans for coronavirus vaccine

US president Trump has outlined his plans for "Operation Warp Speed", which aims to expedite development of a coronavirus vaccine, as political reporter Erin Delmore explains. And we'll take a look back at a rocky week for US markets, with Chris Low of FHN Financial in New York.


The coronavirus hit to food supply chains

With a crisis in America's food chain we hear personal stories from across the nation. Many meat processing plants are closed due to coronavirus outbreaks, and Minnesota pig farmer Mike Patterson tells us he has thousands of pigs ready for market, which may end up having to be destroyed. Epidemiologist Tara Smith of Kent State University in Ohio explains why meat processing plants have been so prone to Covid-19. And with President Trump trying to use executive powers to force their...


Update: Fast food outlets reopening across the US

McDonalds restaurants in the US are issuing pages of guidance to restaurants to ensure customer and staff safety as they open up after the coronavirus lockdown. Heather Haddon of the Wall Street Journal talks us through them. Insurance market Lloyd's of London says coronavirus-related claims could cost the global industry up to $200bn. Also in the programme, the head of the World Trade Organisation announces his early departure and more gloomy job news from the United States. Cary Leahy of...


'Covid-19 is biggest insurance payout since 9/11'

Insurance market Lloyd's of London say coronavirus-related claims could cost up to $4.3bn. It estimates the global insurance industry could face a bill in excess of $200bn from the pandemic, and Ashwin Mistry, chairman of British insurance firm Brokerbility discusses what that might mean for consumers as well as companies like his. Also in the programme, we travel to Chile, where the BBC's Jane Chambers reports on some businesses bucking the impact of lockdown. The BBC's Russell Padmore...


Head of US central bank tells Trump to 'spend more' amid pandemic

Jerome Powell, head of the Federal Reserve, says Covid 19 could cause long-term economic damage and that the much hoped for recovery could take longer than expected. We speak to Sarah Bloom-Raskin, former deputy secretary of the US treasury and board member of the Fed, about Powell's comments. And Susan Schmidt of Aviva Investors in Chicago tells us how the markets reacted.