Coronavirus

China Exports Tank 17 Pct

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Chinese exports have fallen by 17.2 percent in the first few months of this year due to the heavy toll of the coronavirus.

The outbreak has disrupted global supply chains, hampered business activity and hindered transport between countries as it has spread across the world and infected tens of thousands, killing over 3,000 people as of early March.

The overall exports from China fell 17.2 percent in USD terms as of January and February, with the decline being more than expected, according to analysts. Imports fell by 4 percent and the country’s trade deficit was at $7.1 billion.

Amazon has cracked down on sellers price-gouging items, including hand sanitizer and face masks, that people have been seeking because of the virus outbreak.

Amazon Public Policy VP Brian Huseman wrote, in a letter to Sen. Edward J. Markey about the issue, that Amazon is doing its best to continue prosecuting the worst offenders.

The eCommerce giant said it has been aggressively monitoring its site for high-priced products and removing thousands of suspect accounts, including many purporting to have cures for the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, German airline Lufthansa is planning to ground half its planned flights and may even take its entire fleet of A380 superjumbos out of the skies as the coronavirus ravages global air travel numbers.

The company includes Swiss International Air Lines and Austrian Airlines, and said it would cut its flights through April because of the dramatic drop in airline bookings that has come with the still-increasing number of coronavirus infections by the day.

In other cancellation news, Amtrak will cancel its Acela nonstop service between Washington DC and New York. The company said it was “closely monitoring” the virus outbreak and its actions were based on guidelines from public health experts.

The Acela service will be suspended between March 10 and March 26. Amtrak said other possible adjustments to service may also be necessary in the future.

One area not affected thus far by virus fears is the North American cinema. According to statistics, theater-goers turned out for Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” with chart-topping numbers as expected. Ben Affleck’s drama “The Way Back” opened with the expected rates, as well.

“Onward” earned $40 million from the 4,310 North American locations where it opened, which is still on the lower end of the studio’s earnings — but the studio expects it to keep doing well as schools get out for spring breaks soon and more families have free time.

Disney said that the coronavirus had not had an impact on theater earnings, outside of the Asia-Pacific region.

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