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Dinner at a restaurant in Minneapolis. Restrictions on businesses across the country have been lifted and vaccinations stepped up, fueling hopes for economic recovery. linked to credit Liam Doyle for The New York Times.

The latest glimmer of momentum for the economic recovery comes Thursday, when the Labor Department releases its weekly report on jobless claims.

New applications for state unemployment benefits have fallen in recent weeks as restrictions are lifted across the country and vaccine distribution increases – a trend many economists expect to continue in the future.

This comes on top of a broader improvement in the labor market, said Sarah House, senior economist at Wells Fargo.

But the government’s weekly figures also highlight the uneven nature of the economic recovery. Initial applications rose last week, partly due to the devastating winter storms in Texas, after dropping significantly the week before.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department announced last week that employers added 379,000 jobs in February, a surprisingly high number that boosted confidence in the strength of the recovery about a year after the pandemic-induced recession. Profits come mainly from the heavy leisure and hotel sectors.

Although initial claims for unemployment benefits have fallen significantly since last spring, the economy still has a long way to go before it reaches pre-crisis levels. Overall, there are 9.5 million fewer jobs than a year ago. More than four million people have left the labour force, a group that is not counted among the most frequently mentioned unemployed.

We are not yet in the recovery phase where we see the floodgates opening, said Daniel Zhao, senior economist at careers site Glassdoor. I don’t think it’s fair to call what we’ve done so far an opening, because there are still many people out of work and many businesses closed.

Layoffs and closings continue, and the trend is expected to continue in weekly unemployment claims. But with rising vaccination rates, global warming and the arrival of additional government aid through President Biden’s $1.9 trillion bailout package finally piloted through Congress on Wednesday, many economists expect a strong economic recovery. Sir, I want to thank you for your support. Biden is expected to speak on Friday.

We’re seeing a big increase in new hires, says Julia Pollack, labor economist at ZipRecruiter. I think this is becoming a reality for many employers, as well as many job seekers.

General Electric’s Haliade-X wind turbine prototype in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The knives are made in England, the company said. with credit Ilvi Njokiktien for The New York Times.

General Electric has announced that it will build the blades for its new offshore wind turbines at a plant in the northeast of England.

The new plant will be located in the Teesside area, which was recently designated by the UK government as a so-called free port, with tax breaks and other incentives for businesses. The plant is expected to open in 2023 and create 750 jobs, G.E. said Wednesday in a statement.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen wants to revitalise the region by attracting investment in clean energy, including offshore wind and carbon capture development. The new turbine will produce blades for the large Doggersbank wind farm in the North Sea.

Although the UK has become the world’s largest market for offshore wind turbines, some critics point out that most turbines are manufactured in other countries, notably Denmark and Germany. The blade factories are very popular with the local authorities because they provide employment for a large number of people.

The blades are approximately 350 feet long and will be mounted on G.E.’s Haliade-X turbines, a prototype of which is currently being tested in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The new turbine has already sparked a race among manufacturers to build larger machines.

Adam Aron, chief executive of the AMC, said vaccine distribution would be a lifeline for the company. Credit…Cristobal Herrera-Ulashkevich/EPA, via Shutterstock.

Adam Aron, CEO of AMC Entertainment, the world’s largest movie theater chain, called the past year the toughest in the company’s 100-year history and reported annual results Wednesday that included a $4.6 billion loss.

Nevertheless, Aron expressed optimism about his company’s prospects for the coming year, based on a drop in the number of coronavirus cases, the reopening of movie theaters and the arrival of blockbuster movies that will go on sale in May. He gave special attention to Disney’s Black Widow, Universal’s F9 and Paramount’s Best Gun : Maverick.

He added that the real salvation of the CMA would be a quantum leap in immunisation, both nationally and globally.

The most important person in the entire film industry, Aron said, doesn’t work in a studio or cinema, but is Albert Burla, the CEO of Pfizer.

He and his colleagues, along with those at Moderna and J&J, have given us new strength, he added.

AMC lost money in the quarter ended 31. December ended with $946 million, even as theaters reopened after months of closure.

By the end of the year, 78% of the company’s US operations had reopened, with a limited number of branches. Internationally, 90 percent of the company’s cinemas reopened in October, only to have to close again in the fourth quarter due to a flare-up of the virus.

AMC said it will close 60 unprofitable theaters by 2020: 48 in the U.S. and 12 internationally. It also spent a year renegotiating its terms with studios, notably Universal and Warner Bros. which sent more movies to their streaming platforms by closing theaters.

AMC has shown in recent years that it is becoming the most experimental system for window strategies, Aron said, adding that the deals should benefit AMC shareholders. I remain optimistic that, as partners for a century, we can adjust our relationship so that they support both streaming and theatrical releases without it being at our expense.

President Biden is expected to sign his $1.9 trillion pandemic preparedness bill on Friday. Credit…Andrew Harnick/Associated Press

Wall Street futures pointed higher and global markets rose as investors were relieved Thursday by relatively modest inflation data from the US and eagerly awaited the boost from President Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic bill, which received final approval from Congress on Wednesday.

This massive spending spree, one of the largest injections of federal aid since the Great Depression, will provide a new round of direct payments to millions of Americans, expand federal unemployment benefits and provide millions to small businesses, state and local governments and schools. Mr. Biden is expected to sign it on Friday.

Equity markets

  • Futures point to a 0.7% gain for the S&P 500 in late trading and a 1.8% gain for the Nasdaq.
  • European markets were mostly trading higher: The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.2%, the German Dax was unchanged and the British FTSE 100 fell 0.3%. Asian markets ended the day higher: Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.6% and China’s Shanghai Composite rose 2.4%.

Inflation and borrowings

  • On Wednesday, the Labor Department released data that showed inflation has remained stable: The consumer price index rose 0.1% in February, excluding the volatile food and energy category. The news appears to have eased some fears of an overheating economy, and yields on 10-year Treasury bonds fell Thursday.
  • The European Central Bank will conclude its two-day meeting Thursday with a statement on interest rates and possible changes to its bond-buying program. Bank President Christine Lagarde said she was closely monitoring the rise in bond yields in recent weeks and that the bank may announce an increase in the pace of its purchases in the bond market to help keep interest rates low.

Oil markets

  • Oil futures, which have been erratic in recent days, have risen slightly. Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 0.8 percent after briefly touching $69 a barrel. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 1.1 percent to about $65.20 a barrel.

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