** People rescuing an injured passenger from inside a passenger bus hit by a truck on Dhaka-Mawa Expressway in Shologhar area of Shreenagar upazila in Munshiganj on Thursday. ** Motorcycles allowed on Padma Bridge after 10 months ** Commuters charge extra fare, passengers disappointed ** 78 people killed in Yemen stampede ** Moon sighting committee meets today to ascertain Eid day ** 9 killed in road accidents in 3 districts ** US announces new $325 m military aid package for Ukraine ** Eid-ul-Fitr in Saudi Arabia today ** Eid exodus begins ** LPG price cut illusive ** 15 hurt as bus overturns in capital ** New interbank cheque clearing timings set for Eid holidays ** Four women hit by a train die in Tangail ** 12.28 lakh SIM users left Dhaka on Tuesday ** Sylhet engineer threatened over power outage ** People rush to village homes to spend Eid holidays with their near and dear ones. This photo was taken from Sadarghat Launch Terminal on Tuesday. NN photo ** Surge in cases of dehydration, diarrhoea amid summer heat wave ** Padma Bridge construction cost increases by Tk 2,412cr ** PM gives Tk 90m to Bangabazar fire victims ** Textile workers block highway demanding wage, Eid bonus ** Attack on PM's motorcade Ex-BNP MP, 3 others get life term ** Load-shedding increases for demand of electricity during heat wave ** Motorbikes to be allowed on Padma bridge from Thursday ** 5-day Eid vacation begins from today ** Take Nangalkot train accident as a warning about negligence of govt functionaries **

Solid US economy bracing for coronavirus infection

08 March 2020 AFP, Washington

Hiring is surging and wages are rising in the United States as the year begins, but the coronavirus is poised to infect the economy and hamper President Donald Trump's re-election bid.
Wall Street has tumbled in recent days as the outbreak spread and undermined the view that the US economy is inoculated against the danger.
The White House has tried to downplay the impact, and Trump on Friday even made the extraordinary claim that US businesses are benefitting from people staying in the country while predicting stocks would bounce back.
But private economists warn the positive data presents an outdated picture, and more real-time gauges of economic activity already show the spreading alarm.
That is all the more dangerous in an economy dominated by the services sector: factories can ramp up production once the danger is passed, but if people stop going to movie theaters, sporting events and hotels, those earnings are lost forever.
And workers in many of those businesses do not have paid sick leave, meaning they may go to work while infected with the virus or lose money they would otherwise spend if they take time off.
"It's not a health pandemic yet… it's what I call an economic pandemic," Diane Swonk of Grant Thornton said on CNBC. "The global effect of all these things happening simultaneously is compounding the impact and the fallout for the United States."
Trump on Friday once again demanded the Federal Reserve lower borrowing rates to stimulate the economy, even though the central bank announced an emergency rate cut on Tuesday.
"The Fed should cut and the Fed should stimulate," Trump told reporters as he signed a bill providing $8.3 billion for the coronavirus response.
In fact, most economists - and financial markets - overwhelmingly expect Trump will get what he wants: another half-point chop to the Fed's benchmark policy interest rate. The US economy produced another blockbuster hiring spree in February, adding 273,000 new jobs, and the January figure was revised up to show the same increase, according to the closely-watched Labor Department report.
The back-to-back surges blew away all expectations.

The strong hiring put the unemployment rate at 3.5 percent, dipping from 3.6 percent in January, near a 50-year low.
The job gains mean the monthly average for 2020 was 273,000, far outpacing the 178,000 monthly pace in 2019.
But that was before the major shutdowns caused by the outbreak that began in China before spreading to numerous countries. Infections now number more than 100,000 worldwide, with 3,400 deaths.
"Overall, these are great numbers, but unfortunately this is news from another planet," Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics said in an analysis.
"Pre-virus, the labor market was strong, if weather-assisted. Now, trouble is coming, fast."
In fact, a Fed survey released Wednesday contained dozens of mentions of the virus outbreak, with widespread impact already seen across the country, including people refusing to go to Chinese restaurants.
And the report said "producers feared further disruptions in the coming weeks."
White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow acknowledged there would be some effects on the economy but urged calm.
"I've argued and I will continue to argue economic problems are going to be temporary and short-lived," he said on CNBC. "The virus is not going to last forever."
But he said the administration is considering some targeted stimulus measures to help businesses and individuals "in areas that have been hit the worst" including "people who may be stranded at home and will lose pay."
"We're not looking at big, expensive macro cash rebates, helicopter money from the sky. That never works," Kudlow said on Fox Business Network.
Wall Street shrugged off the positive economic data, plunging on Friday before a late rally helped to close with only modest losses. Stocks are down more than 12 percent from the peak on February 12.

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