Coronavirus latest: Toronto regions to enter lockdown after new cases hit record highs

Despite the pandemic, American consumers are forecast to open their wallets this holiday shopping season — even if they will be doing much of it online. Over the 75-day period leading up to Christmas, retail sales are predicted to increase 2.4 per cent from the same period a year ago, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.

The coronavirus pandemic’s boost to the digital, automation and technology industries is set to exacerbate gender inequality, as new jobs are being taken largely by men. Nearly 800,000 new positions have been created in computer programming and related services across the EU, US, UK, Japan and Australia this year, FT analysis shows.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, has sunk into a second recession in less than five years, battered by the oil price crash brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Gross domestic product contracted 3.6 per cent in the three months to September 30, after shrinking 6.1 per cent in the previous quarter, official data show.

Singapore and Hong Kong suspended plans to launch a “travel bubble” from Sunday that would have enabled passengers between the two Asian cities to skip quarantine under certain circumstances. The plan was postponed for two weeks after Hong Kong reported 43 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, the highest total in more than three months.

Technicians work at the Regeneron laboratory in Tarrytown, New York

Regeneron has received US emergency approval for its antibody treatment, which was hailed by president Donald Trump as a cure for his Covid-19. The Food and Drug Administration greenlighted the antibody cocktail for the treatment of mild-to-moderate Covid-19 patients at high risk of developing severe symptoms.

NetJets, a private jet operator owned by Berkshire Hathaway, is ordering more aircraft next year as private aviation rebounds faster than commercial airlines. Columbus, Ohio-based NetJets said it would order between 40 and 50 planes in 2021. The company had earlier cut its order to about 30 this year, down from 60 in 2019.

UK technology group Sage’s reliance on software subscriptions has grown as it works to boost overall recurring revenue, which it expects to rise by up to 5 per cent over the next financial year. The growth was tempered by a 25.8 per cent fall in other sales, which picked up pace as the pandemic took hold. Total revenue dipped 1.7 per cent to £1.9bn.

Wish, the ecommerce platform that sells cheap Asia-made goods to the masses, said it had revenue of $1.7bn in the first nine months of 2020, up nearly a third on last year, as it prepares for an initial public offering in New York. Wish said the coronavirus pandemic had affected business, disrupting supply chains from China.

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