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G20 to say economic outlook less negative, vow to sustain, strengthen support if needed

G20 to say economic outlook less negative, vow to sustain, strengthen support if needed

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The world’s financial leaders will say on Wednesday that the outlook for the pandemic-ravaged global economy is less negative as steps already taken are paying off, and will vow to do more if needed to support the recovery, their draft statement said.



a close up of a green building: FILE PHOTO: A man on a bicycle rides past containers at an industrial port in Tokyo


© Reuters/Kim Kyung Hoon
FILE PHOTO: A man on a bicycle rides past containers at an industrial port in Tokyo

Finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s 20 biggest economies will hold virtual meeting on Wednesday to discuss the main global economic challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic will cause a global economic contraction this year.

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“The outlook is less negative with global economic activity showing signs of recovery as our economies have been gradually reopening and the positive impacts of our significant policy actions started to materialize,” the G20 financial leaders’ draft statement, seen by Reuters, said.

“We will sustain and strengthen as necessary our policy response, considering the different stages of the crisis, to secure a stable and sustainable recovery,” it said.

The G20 financial leaders, who have clashed in the past about the international trade — a key motor of global growth — said they would not set up new barriers to it.

“We will continue to facilitate international trade, investment and to build resilience of supply chains to support growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development,” the draft said.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski)

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North of England leaders vow to oppose lockdown without financial support

North of England leaders vow to oppose lockdown without financial support

Ministers are facing open revolt from leaders in northern England over fresh coronavirus restrictions due to be announced within days, as mayors, MPs and council leaders vowed they would fiercely oppose any new measures without substantial financial support.

Pubs, bars and restaurants across Merseyside, Greater Manchester and parts of the north-east of England could be forced to close next week in an effort to slow the soaring infection rate.

MPs in the north of England and Midlands are receiving a briefing from the government’s Covid taskforce in which officials and ministers are expected to outline the alarming rise in cases and hospital admissions.

Andy Burnham, the Greater Manchester mayor, said he was “losing patience” with the government after the planned shutdown leaked on Thursday – days after Matt Hancock promised to improve its communication with local leaders in a call with regional mayors on Monday.

Alongside the leaders of Liverpool, Newcastle and Leeds, Burnham is demanding that local authorities be allowed to see details of the restrictions – and any proposed financial support – before they are announced. “There is no way at all I will sign off on the closure of any business without a local furlough scheme,” he said.

The Guardian understands that the majority of northern England, from Barrow in Cumbria, to Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, parts of Yorkshire and most of the north-east, as well as Nottinghamshire in the Midlands will be under some form of coronavirus restrictions under a new three-tier traffic light system due to be outlined within days.

The sharp rise in hospital admissions in the worst-hit areas has alarmed decision-makers in the regions as well as Whitehall. More than a third of Covid patients in England’s hospitals are in the north-west of England, where hospital admissions have risen sevenfold since the start

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