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Business and markets: news in brief

News on the market response to the crisis, the impacts of that response and the repercussions around the world.

20 May 2020: The TUC, which represents most UK unions, has called for a sustainable industrial base and a green recovery.

20 May 2020: Human Rights Watch says that this year’s forest fire season could be even deadlier.

20 May 2020: New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern has suggested a four-day working week to boost tourism and help employees address work/life balance issues, The Guardian reports.

20 May 2020: Renewable energy is set to play a central role in the post COVID-19 economic recovery, but the global picture is mixed, says a report from EY.

20 May 2020: The International Energy Agency’s report says that COVID-19 has hurt but not hindered the development of renewable power installations worldwide.

19 May 2020: Over 150 global corporations have urged world leaders for net-zero recovery from COVID-19 in a joint statement.

20 May 2020: Commerce 2040: Revolutionary Tech Will Boost Consumer Engagement, is a free report  from Euromonitor International that explores how technology will revolutionise what it means to live, work, shop and play for consumers in 2040.

19 May 2020: E3G turns the spotlight to the role that cooling and energy efficiency can play in a green recovery.

18 May 2020: LatAm sovereigns' weak public finances make them particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus crisis, Fitch Ratings says.

18 May 2020: The airline industry is among the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, says Fitch Ratings.

18 May 2020: More than 150 multinationals call for Covid-19 aid to be aligned with climate goals, says BusinessGreen.

18 May 2020: Reclaim Finance has published a report revealing that the ECB’s corporate asset purchases significantly finances fossil fuels.

18 May 2020: China's road traffic levels appear to be recovering from the shock of the coronavirus outbreak, even as air traffic lags and port throughput faces additional looming challenges, says Fitch Ratings.

18 May 2020: Nigeria’s adherence to oil production cuts under the OPEC+ agreement will lead to deeper economic contraction and fiscal deficits and compound pressures on external finances from the slump in oil prices, says Fitch Ratings.

18 May 2020: The London Office Crane Survey Summer 2020 has been published by Deloitte. It shows the total volume under construction is up by 29% on the previous survey, the volume of new starts in six months to March is the highest on record, survey completions are down by 60%, and construction activity surged across most submarkets, with the City seeing a 38% uplift.

18 May 2020: ESMA sees ‘very high’ market risks. Updates to ESMA’s risk dashboard for 2020 highlight negative outlooks for securities markets, infrastructure and services and asset management. 

15 May 2020: Cambridge Economics says a green stimulus package together with a VAT rate cut could lead the UK out of recession in 2021.

15 May 2020: Financial inclusion in developing markets has become even more important during the pandemic, mobile solutions are proving to be a lifeline in emerging economies, and fintech firms can use this opportunity to build their reputations and emerge stronger once the crisis has passed, says WEF.

14 May 2020: Politico has reported that coronavirus may be driving health insurers back to Obamacare.

14 May 2020: Friends of the Earth has reviewed over 100 lobby filings from prominent US oil and gas companies and their largest trade associations and reported that Big Oil has already benefited substantially from the initial policy responses to the coronavirus.

14 May 2020: Internationalism is not a luxury; it is a necessity, says Economist Jayati Ghosh, explaining how we can change the global economic architecture to enable a Global Green New Deal.

13 May 2020: The world economy is projected to shrink by 3.2% in 2020, says the UN. Under the baseline scenario, GDP growth in developed countries will plunge to -5.0% in 2020, while output of developing countries will shrink by 0.7%.

12 May 2020: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Environment and Trade Hub has published a policy brief that addresses COVID-19 and its effects on international trade and the environment. 

13 May 2020: A special report has been published by Fitch Ratings that says that the total debt of companies in EMEA and the US who have lost their investment-grade debt ratings has reached USD150 Billion Since 1 March 2020.

13 May 2020: Fitch Ratings assumes the coronavirus pandemic will cause a 60% drop this year in European hotels' occupancy rates, which will not recover until at least 2023.

1 May 2020: The Implications of COVID-19 for the Global Economy is a Euromonitor International webinar that is available to all. The webinar looks at the possible economic outcomes globally and what this means for government policies, businesses and consumer behaviour.