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World shares mixed…Business economists optimistic


BANGKOK (AP) – World shares have been mixed today as worries over the pandemic cloud the outlook for a recovery from the coronavirus crisis. In early trading, Germany’s DAX edged less than 0.1% lower, the CAC 40 in Paris inched 0.1% higher and the FTSE 100 in London was nearly unchanged. In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.4% higher and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 0.4%. In Seoul, the Kospi jumped 1% and the Shanghai Composite index dropped 1%. On Wall Street, S&P 500 futures are down 0.1%, while Dow futures are nearly unchanged.


WASHINGTON (AP) – The accelerated COVID-19 vaccine rollout, along with the Biden administration’s rescue aid policies, should help deliver a significant boost to the U.S. economy over the next year as it extends its recovery from the pandemic recession. That’s the view of a majority of business economists that emerges from a survey being released today by the National Association for Business Economics. The results, based on responses from 97 NABE members earlier this month, find that two-thirds say that the vaccine distribution and the administration’s policies have elevated their outlook for the economy. That’s up from just over half who said so in a survey done in January.


FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – A closely watched indicator of German business outlooks barely rose in April as the third wave of coronavirus infections held back optimism about the pace of post-pandemic recovery. The Ifo index crept up to 96.8 points from 96.6 points in March as companies viewed current conditions as better but expressed less optimism about the coming six months. Germany, along with the rest of Europe, is going through a renewed battle with higher levels of infections as a variant that spreads more easily has become the dominant strain.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – The Kentucky Derby is back on the first Saturday in May, slowly bringing with it the sights, sounds and rituals familiar to Louisville. And local officials and business owners are hopeful that translates into better cash flow after the coronavirus pandemic upended the Derby’s schedule last year. Some Derby activities have returned, and attendance capacity at Churchill Downs could approach 60% in certain areas. This year’s economic impact on the region is estimated at $34.6 million, less than a tenth of the normal revenue that the event generates. But the Derby buzz is once again humming around Louisville.


CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) – The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline jumped 2 cents over the past two weeks, to $2.96 per gallon. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey says the increase came as crude oil costs also rose. The price at the pump is $1.03 higher than it was a year ago. The highest average price in the nation right now is $4.04 a gallon in the San Francisco Bay Area. The lowest average is $2.49 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The average price of diesel is unchanged over the same period, at $3.13.