One ship to block them all, a continued traffic jam in the Suez Canal.
Business morale in Germany is higher this month than it has been in almost two years, as rising demand for manufactured goods keeps factories in Europe’s largest economy humming despite the pandemic and lockdown restrictions. The Ifo institute said its business climate index shot up to 96.6, the highest reading since June 2019, from an upwardly revised 92.7 in February. Germany is poised to be Europe’s guiding light out of the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic.
Japan’s record budget worth almost $1 trillion for the next fiscal year was approved by parliament on Friday, raising speculation over yet more spending ahead in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The 106.6 trillion yen ($976 billion) budget for the year from April 1 features 5 trillion yen in emergency spending related to the pandemic, following three COVID-19 packages worth a combined $3 trillion already rolled out in the current fiscal year.
The dollar held near its highest since November against most major currencies on Friday, buoyed by hopes of improving U.S. economic data and the availability of coronavirus vaccines. US jobless claims fell to a one-year low last week and President Joe Biden said he will double his vaccination plan after reaching his previous goal of 100 million shots 42 days ahead of schedule, both of which support optimism in the dollar.
British retail sales partly recovered in February, helped by locked-down consumers getting outdoor furniture in preparation for small garden parties and couples buying Valentine’s Day dinners at home rather than in restaurants.
A stuck container vessel in the Suez Canal, which blocked the flow of goods through the narrow channel, adding strain to global supply chains already stretched by rebounding economic activity and tight shipping container supplies. Efforts are underway to free the vessel, although salvage experts warn the process may take weeks.
|IBM and Raise Green, an impact investment marketplace for clean energy projects, announced their collaboration to develop Raise Green’s software solution deployed using Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud, intended to empower any entrepreneur to start their own community solar energy businesses. Today marks the rollout of the latest Beta version of the Originator Engine, following the initial launch announced last year.|
|Apple has applied to patent a futuristic mattress sensor that can monitor people’s sleep and then wake them up by gently moving them in the morning. The iPhone maker has been working on an “in-bed haptic device,” according to a filing, which would be inserted into a person’s bed on top of their mattress before they go to sleep.|
Johnson & Johnson
|Colombia has approved the emergency use of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot COVID-19 vaccine, the director of food and drug regulator INVIMA said.|