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Global Markets: Credit card use drops in March

Lockdown measures said to be reason why

By MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, June 16 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– Equifax Canada said on Tuesday that there was a sharp drop in credit card use at the end of March, which led to the first decline in consumer debt balances in more than a decade. The credit reporting firm noted balances were down 0.5 per cent to about C$23,400 of non-mortgage debt in the first quarter. Equifax Canada pointed to lockdown measures that saw restaurants and stores close as the reason.

– A five-year US$1 trillion infrastructure program is being prepared by the Trump administration, according to reports on Tuesday. The bulk of the money is to be earmarked for traditional infrastructure throughout the United States, such as roads and bridges, but funding will be available for 5G wireless and rural broadband. The program would be twice the amount the Democrats recently proposed to succeed the current US$305 billion infrastructure program that ends on Sept. 30.

– An inter-Korean liaison office located just within the North Korean side of its border with South Korea was demolished by the North on Tuesday. The move intensifies the diplomatic deadlock between the largely isolated North Korea with South Korea and the U.S. The North has been seeking to maintain its small nuclear arsenal. The office was the first opened by the two Koreas, but has been closed since January due to COVID-19 concerns.

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