The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Wednesday related to the national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.
— AMC Entertainment lost nearly $2.2 billion in its first quarter as it struggled with the closure of all of its movie theaters amid the virus outbreak. The company recorded an approximately $1.85 billion impairment charge in the period.
AMC said Wednesday that it currently expects to have all of its theaters worldwide open in July. It has 10 theaters reopened in Norway, Germany, Spain and Portugal.
— Red Robin Gourmet Burgers’ sales fell 25.3% in its fiscal first quarter as the restaurant operator had to temporarily close its dining rooms. However, off-premise sales jumped 86.1% as the company shifted to pickup and delivery of orders.
Red Robin currently has about 270 dining rooms reopened. The company has more than 550 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, including those that operate under franchise agreements.
— With stores closed, GameStop’s fiscal first-quarter sales declined 34% but its online sales skyrocketed 519% globally as customers continued to seek out video games.
In March the retailer temporarily closed all 3,526 of its U.S. locations – with approximately 65% of these locations offering limited curbside pickup. During the final six weeks of the quarter, approximately 90% of the global store fleet was closed to customers, with about 42% open for limited curbside delivery and 48% fully closed.
GameStop said it had approximately 85% of its U.S. locations open at the end of last month, with limited customer access or curbside delivery. About 90% of its international locations opened in May. However, the company said it has since had to temporarily close approximately 100 U.S. stores due to nationwide protests. It anticipates keeping about 35 of those locations closed for the foreseeable future given extensive physical damage.
MANUFACTURING: Ford expects to have its U.S. factories humming at pre-coronavirus levels by July 6.
Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley told a Deutsche Bank autos conference Wednesday that the company hit 96% of its production targets in the first three weeks after it reopened factories on May 18. Many plants reopened working two shifts and have since added production with workers on overtime. He said the company plans to go to three shifts per day at some plants.
Ford and the rest of the U.S. auto industry closed factories in mid-March when employees started catching the virus. Most reopened in May. Ford initially had trouble restarting in Chicago, Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City, Missouri, due to employees testing positive for the virus or due to parts shortages. But those have since subsided.
CENTRAL GOVERNMENT & BANKS:
— The French government has presented its new budget law for this year, which includes an emergency package of 460 billion euros ($523 billion) to support the country’s economy.
France’s budget deficit is estimated to reach a record-high of 11.4% in 2020, with debt representing 120.9% of gross domestic product by the end of the year.
The budget revision reinforces measures to support the state-funded partial activity scheme, tax cuts and other financial aid for businesses. It includes rescue plans for sectors worst hit by the pandemic, such as 18 billion euros ($20.4 billion) for tourism, 8 billion euros ($9 billion) for the auto industry and 15 billion euros ($17 billion) for aviation.
— Germany is prolonging its travel warning for more than 160 countries outside Europe until the end of August.
The government agreed Wednesday to extend the guidance introduced on March 17 due to the pandemic to almost all non-EU countries, with the exception of some that have successfully contained the outbreak. Last week, Germany downgraded its travel warning for the rest of the 27-nation EU, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Britain.
— Bangladesh’s economic growth would stand at only 1.6% in the current fiscal year ending this month amid authorities’ latest tally on Wednesday that the death toll crossed 1,000, the World Bank said. In its latest report, the global lending agency said Bangladesh’s growth was expected to slow because the virus outbreak led to serious disruptions in industrial production, a plunge in global exports and fall of remittance. Industry leaders of Bangladesh’s garment sector say orders worth $3.18 billion have either been cancelled or suspended by global brands, hurting an industry that earns about $35 billion a year from exports.
MARKETS: World shares turned lower on Wednesday after a downbeat forecast for the global economy and as investors awaited the outcome of a Federal Reserve policy meeting.
SPECTATOR SPORT: NASCAR has decided that a limited number of fans can attend races this month at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.
NASCAR will allow up to 1,000 Florida service members, representing the Homestead Air Reserve Base and U.S. Southern Command in Doral, to attend the Cup Series race Sunday as honorary guests and view the race from the grandstands. Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama will allow up to 5,000 guests in the frontstretch grandstands/towers for the June 21 Cup race.
All fans will be screened before entering, required to wear face coverings, mandated to social distance at six feet, and will not have access to the infield.