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The US economy is expected to grow more slowly than it was hoped months ago as the country was still struggling to stop the community spread of COVID-19, a senior Federal Reserve official said.
“Some of the better economic data we’ve been getting has reflected the fact that those places are opening up, but they may not be opening up as safely as they need to,” Xinhua news agency quoted Eric Rosengren, president of Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, as saying in an interview on Monday.
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“If the result is that they (officials) have to impose new restrictions later in the year, that actually is going to slow down the economic recovery,” he said, noting the economy and the pandemic are “very closely intertwined”.
“That is actually my baseline forecast, (which) is that unfortunately we’re unlikely to stop the community spread, and we’ll be in a situation where the economy is growing more slowly than we might have hoped a few months ago,” said the Fed official.
Rosengren said the central bank’s newly launched Main Street Lending Program, which offers small and medium-sized companies loans, could provide “insurance” against what he expects to be a more difficult second half of the year.
“If I’m right the second half of the year is more difficult than many people are anticipating. I think having this facility up and running will be an important insurance policy for the economy,” he said.
Rosengren’s latest remarks came after a Fed official said on June 19 that the US unemployment rate will remain in double digits by the end of this year.
“I expect the unemployment rate to still be at double-digit levels at the end of the year, given what are likely to be persistent economic headwinds from the pandemic over the second half of the year,” he said.
Since February, US employers have cut nearly 20 million jobs from payrolls, reversing almost 10 years of job gains, according to the Labor Department.
The unemployment rate jumped to a post-World War II high of 14.7 per cent in April, and then moved down to a still very elevated 13.3 per cent in May.
With 2,310,786 cases and 120,393 deaths, the US continued with the world’s highest number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities as of Tuesday. (IANS)
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Drinking feni, may well be the answer, says the secretary of the Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association Hansel Vaz, who on Thursday said, that sipping the state's unique alcoholic drink and making it popular would directly aid the greening of Goa's hills and other barren landscapes.
"To get more cashews, we need to plant more trees. I always say, by drinking feni you will save Goa, because we will be planting more cashew trees and we will have greener hills. The beauty of cashew is you do not need fertile land. You can grow it on a hill which can provide no nutrition. We will be able to grow more trees, if we can sell feni properly," Vaz said. Vaz's comments come at a time when the hillsides of the coastal state have witnessed significant deforestation for real estate development and for infrastructure projects. Feni is manufactured by fermenting and double distilling juice from the cashew apple.
Best way to keep Goa green is to grab yourself a glass of feni. | IANS
The efforts to streamline the state "heritage drink" comes a month after the Goa government notified a formal policy, 'Goa Feni Policy 2021', which covers 26 different varieties of feni distilled in the state. "There were many barriers related to feni, which the policy has now addressed," treasurer of the Association Tukaram Haldankar said. One such hurdle was the previous government classification, which described feni as "country liquor", which would deter tourists from purchasing the drink. The reclassification of feni as a state "heritage drink" has lent dignity to the brew which has been manufactured locally in Goa since the 16th century.
"It should be a standard product like scotch, champagne," Haldankar said. "Like Mexico's tequila, Russian vodka and Japan's sake, we need to export our feni across the country and the world and the local distillers should also benefit economically," president of the Association Gurudutt Bhakta also said. (IANS/ MBI)
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