New reports show COVID-19’s blow to economy

The U.S. economy’s deteriorating health was evident Wednesday in new reports that showed steep drops in retail sales, regional manufacturing and homebuilder sentiment.

Big banks are now setting aside billions of dollars to cover an expected increase in bad loans. While Congress continues to mull over additional emergency funding for smaller businesses, the Trump administration has reached a tentative deal with the airline industry on a $25 billion bailout.

The New Jersey Labor Department says the first batch of supplemental unemployment payments have now gone out to over a quarter million residents. That’s an extra $600 a week. The department says it’s been able to speed up the processing time for claims.

It has also updated its website with new information that explains the filing process for independent contractors and gig workers.

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