US Economy is Faltering as Covid Cases Rise

Washington, Dec 23 (AFP/APP): A flurry of new data Wednesday provided more evidence the US economy is faltering as Covid-19 cases have spiked.

Consumer confidence fell as incomes and spending declined, and new home sales slumped, according to government and private data.

And economists warn that the situation could deteriorate further without government help.

President Donald Trump has rejected the long-awaited, $900 billion pandemic relief bill that would extend aid to workers and businesses. In a video message Tuesday, he demanded Congress amend the package — finally approved after months of partisan wrangling — to increase the direct relief payments from $600 to $2,000.

The trove of data was “not nearly as great as hoped for,” said economist Joel Naroff in an analysis.

He pointed to the drop in personal income as the most troubling sign, saying “it is clear that people are not replacing their government welfare payments with private sector income.” While new applications for US jobless benefits fell by 89,000 last week after two weeks of increases, they remain high and have risen in four of the past six weeks, the Labor Department reported.

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US Retail Sales Fell Due to Covid

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