President Trump announced on Friday that he wants to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Germany by about a quarter. This would bring down the number of troops stationed there to 25,000 from 34,500. The actual order has not yet been given. In recent months, there has been friction between the U.S. and Germany, largely because Germany has not yet boosted its defense spending up to a promised two percent of the GDP.
Since the order has not yet been given, the news of the potential drawdown of troops may simply be a way to try and prod the Germans to fulfill their promise. The presence of a large number of troops in Germany is there to provide a stabilizing force against Russia by strengthening NATO forces.
Several NATO countries, as well as German leadership, have tried to get President Trump to change his mind. Other leaders in the U.S. have also indicated resistance to the idea because it is straining relationships with our allies, bringing into question our stance on protecting them or promoting European insecurity in favor of Russia.
2.5 Million Jobs Added Last Month
When the report of new jobs was delivered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics this past Friday, most people were surprised by the good news. It showed that there was reason to expect that the economy is getting a start toward recovery. Many businesses have now begun to reopen and unemployment has dropped to 13.3%.
During May, it was expected that there would be an increase in unemployment, possibly raising the total number of unemployed workers to around 20%. Instead, many sectors gained employees, including leisure and hospitality, restaurants, retail, construction, and manufacturing.
American Airlines Adding Flights
After a couple of months of major drops in air travel, American Airlines – and other ones – are seeing a drastic increase in the number of people taking to the air. American Airlines had reported a $2.2 billion loss in the first quarter, In April, the airline only had 32,000 passengers but this increased to 110,000 in May. To meet the demand for more planes, it is increasing the number of flights to 55% of what the company was flying in July 2019. That would be an additional 30% more than what it was flying in May. Despite the increasing number of passengers and new flights, American Airlines is offering severance packages to some of its executives to reduce costs.
Oil Price Increase
After having the lowest prices for oil in many years in April – even going into negative numbers, Saudi Arabia has decided it will raise its prices. Aramco, the largest oil producer in the area, has decided to extend its current cuts in production through July, which should give the hurting oil industry in the U.S. some time to recover. Brent Crude prices stayed above $40 and WTI Crude was just below $40 per barrel.
Exports Reduced from China
The number of exports coming from China has been reduced in May. Even though the manufacturing plants in China are operating, some of the nations still suffering from coronavirus are not. This has reduced demand worldwide, causing China’s profits to fall by about 30% and resulting in an oversupply. Shipments from China overseas fell about 3.3% from the previous time a year earlier.