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Euro zone manufacturing output growth stalled last month as factories struggled to source raw materials while demand took a knock from steep price increases and fears about the economic outlook, a survey showed, Reuters reported. Russia's invasion of Ukraine, coupled with renewed COVID-19 related lockdowns in China, have exacerbated supply chain bottlenecks and left factories struggling and forward looking indicators in the survey did not point to an imminent turnaround.
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Grand Slam champion Boris Becker has been jailed for two and a half years after hiding assets and debts worth more than £2.5 million after being declared bankrupt, the Evening Standard reported. The three-time Wimbledon winner deliberately transferred money to family and associates when he ran aground financially in June 2017, successfully keeping £390,000 (€426,930) and the proceeds of a bank loan worth £1.1 million from his creditors.

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Amsterdam's Schiphol airport has asked airlines to cancel flights over the weekend to avoid chaos due to overcrowding at Europe's third busiest airport, it said on Thursday, Reuters reported. The airport said that it had taken the action due to staff shortages. An unannounced strike among baggage handlers aggravated major delays and cancellations at the airport on April 23.

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The number of people going financially insolvent across England and Wales jumped to the highest level in more than three years in the first quarter of this year, the Independent reported. There were 32,305 personal insolvencies between January and March, according to the Insolvency Service, marking the highest total since the final quarter of 2018 when 33,768 cases were recorded. Personal insolvencies were up by 17% in the first quarter of this year compared with the previous three months.
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Britain has delayed imposing its full post-Brexit import controls on goods from the European Union until the end of next year, saying retailers were facing too many other cost pressures and it did not want to add more fuel to inflation, Reuters reported. Britain left the EU's single market in January 2021 and has delayed implementation of its full post-Brexit border controls on several occasions due to worries about port disruption and now the risk of adding to a cost-of-living crisis.
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The EMEA Credit Derivatives Determinations Committee said on Thursday it met to prepare for holding an auction to settle credit default swaps in case Russia goes into default, Reuters reported. Russia made a payment due on April 4 on two sovereign bonds, but it was made in Russian roubles rather than the U.S. dollars it was mandated to under the bond terms. Earlier this month the Committee declared a "potential failure to pay" had occurred, dating it to April 4. A 30 calendar day grace period expires next week, after which Russia could be declared in default.
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Europe’s banking regulator is growing antsy about a booming market for banks: loans that fuel riskier borrowers and the global deal-making machine, the Wall Street Journal reported. That corner of banks’ business, called leveraged financing, has skyrocketed in Europe and elsewhere over the past years as central banks unleashed cheap money to propel economic growth. Although issuance has slowed down this year because of the war in Ukraine, the European Central Bank estimates there are over $4 trillion in such loans outstanding globally.
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The employment rate in the European Union climbed back above 2019 levels last year, as the labour market started recovering from the pandemic, the bloc's statistics office said on Thursday, Reuters reported. The share of employed Europeans rose to 73.1% last year from 71.7% in 2020 and 72.7% in 2019, the European Union's statistics office Eurostat said in a statement. "As massive vaccination campaigns started all around the world in 2021, the situation with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic began to improve gradually in the first quarter of 2021," Eurostat said.
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Germany has started preparations for a potential halt in Russian gas deliveries as concerns intensify amid a dispute over payment terms, Bloomberg News reported. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday that preparations to limit Germany’s exposure to Russian energy imports were under way even before President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine. While Russian coal is already being phased out, gas is more difficult, he said in Tokyo after talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
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German inflation hit its highest level in more than four decades in April, pushed higher by natural gas and mineral oil products that have significantly increased in price since Russia's attack on Ukraine, Reuters reported. Consumer prices, harmonised to make them comparable with inflation data from other European Union countries (HICP), rose an annual 7.8%, a rise from March's 7.6%, the Federal Statistics Office said on Thursday. The inflation reading from Germany, the biggest euro zone economy, precedes data on Friday for the whole 19-country bloc.
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