Companies stash cash to survive; Europe reopens, slowly

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Bartender Antonio is on his way to deliver coffee in Naples, Monday, April 27, 2020. Region Campania allowed cafes and pizzerias to reopen for delivery Monday, as Italy it is starting to ease its lockdown after a long precautionary closure due to the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Monday related to the global economy, the work place and the spread of the virus.


GOVERNMENTS & CENTRAL BANKS: National economies hammered by the pandemic are coming back on line to varying degrees, largely based on how recently peak infections arrived.

— March jobless claims in France jumped 7% — the biggest single-month increase since the 1990s. Yet the Labor Ministry figures released Monday reflect only a sliver of the upheaval.

More than 10 million are receiving payments as part of a French program to keep shuttered companies from firing workers. Half of France’s private sector workforce is on temporary unemployment.

— The Czech Republic is allowing smaller stores to reopen in its latest phased return to normalcy. Stores up to 2,500 sq. meters (26,900 sq. feet) can operate, with social distancing measures in place. Three Czech plants of Skoda Auto that belong to Volkswagen renewed production on Monday.

— Switzerland is allowing hair salons, tattoo parlors, veterinarians’ offices and garden shops to reopen as part of a multi-tiered plan. Social distancing is still mandated.

ENERGY: Crude price have crashed almost 80% since the beginning of the year and thousands of oilfield workers have lost jobs. On Monday, contract driller Diamond Offshore filed for bankruptcy protection.