Lobster biz braces for Chinese New Year impacted by pandemic

PORTLAND, Maine — America’s lobster exporters recovered from the Trump-era trade war with China to have a good 2020. But the industry is approaching one of the most critical times of the year with trepidation because of the coronavirus.

Chinese New Year is typically one of the busiest parts of the calendar for America’s lobster shippers, who send millions of dollars worth of the crustaceans to China every year. This year the holiday is Feb. 12, and industry members said the Year of the Ox won’t necessarily be the Year of the Lobster.

That’s because shipping is complicated this winter by the threat of the virus. Mike Marceau, vice president of The Lobster Company in Arundel, Maine, said he isn’t expecting many exports.

Business would normally be booming right now, and it has ground to a halt, Marceau said. It’s disappointing because the last spring and summer were fairly strong,

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Japan’s economic recovery from pandemic likely stalled in fourth quarter

By Leika Kihara and Kaori Kaneko



a group of people walking on a city street: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Tokyo


© Reuters/KIM KYUNG-HOON
Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s economic growth likely moderated in October-December after rebounding from its worst postwar recession earlier in 2020, a Reuters poll showed, a sign households and companies have yet to recover from the coronavirus pandemic’s huge hit.

A state of emergency rolled out in January has inflicted further pain on consumption, stoking fears of another economic slump that could push Japan back into deflation.

Analysts polled by Reuters expect the economy to have marked a quarter-on-quarter expansion of 2.3% in October-December, as improving exports made up for some of the weakness in consumption.

However, that would be much slower than a 5.3% jump in the third quarter, when the lifting of the previous state of emergency helped the economy emerge from its worst postwar slump in the April-June quarter.

“Consumption, especially

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Pandemic brings influx of remote workers to Wyoming

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Ty Lunsford left Casper in 1998 — seeking, as he says, “bright lights, big city.” He was raised here, and moved out of his parents’ house to go chase the action in Denver.

In November, after his job at a Southern California tech startup went permanently remote, he packed up his home in Thousand Oaks and moved his family back to his hometown. This time, he intends to stay for good.

“I never thought I’d see the day,” Lunsford laughed. “But here I am.”

Lunsford is part of a trend that’s bringing Casperites back home to raise their families as the COVID-19 pandemic makes it possible for those with office jobs to work from anywhere. Casper, where the economy is heavily reliant on oil and other blue-collar industries, may benefit from this influx of diverse labor.

But in a state desperately in need of a financial

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Americans take to ‘buy now, pay later’ shopping during pandemic, but can they afford it?

(Reuters) – When Leondra Garrett wanted to stock up on three new pairs of shoes early last year, the North Carolina resident split a $161 online purchase into four installments through a “buy now, pay later” service, in what seemed like a convenient deal.

FILE PHOTO: A shopper wearing a protective mask tries on clothes at a retail store following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New York City, New York, U.S., July 5, 2020. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon/File Photo

Now, she admits she should have read the small print about missed payments.

When the buy now, pay later (BNPL) provider tried to withdraw a payment from Garrett’s bank account a few months later, she didn’t have enough funds to cover it. Soon after, the 42-year-old was charged $40 in penalties and her credit score dropped 10 points to 650, a reading generally classified as ‘fair’.

“It’s important for consumers

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