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U.K. consumer confidence rises

Consumer Confidence in the U.K. increased in February, driven by a sharp rise in economic expectations over the next year amid a swift Covid-19 vaccine rollout. GfK's consumer-confidence barometer stood at minus 23 in February, up five points from the previous month and the highest level since the coronavirus pandemic hit the country. 7:15 p.m. Feb. 18, 2021

BioNTech starts COVID vaccine production at new German site, boosting EU supplies

COVID-19 vaccine maker BioNTech has started production at a new site in Germany, in a move that will help alleviate a shortage of supplies of the shot it has developed with Pfizer . The factory will produce mRNA, the active ingredient in the shot, which will then be purified and concentrated, before being delivered to partner sites to be finished. "The first vaccines produced at the Marburg site are expected to be delivered at the beginning of April," BioNTech said in a statement on Wednesday. The batch will need the approval of the European Medicines Agency. BioNTech acquired the site from Swiss drug company Novartis last year as part of a goal to increase production of its shot to 2 billion this year. The factory has the capacity to produce up to 750 million vaccine doses a year. The European Union has been under fire for a slow vaccination rollout, worsened by delivery delays from drug companies AstraZeneca and Pfizer at European plants. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen admitted on Wednesday that the EU was late to authorize the use of vaccines. "We are still not where we want to be," von der Leyen told an EU Parliament plenary session. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca has struck an agreement with Germany's IDT Biologika to help manufacture its Covid-19 vaccine in an effort to boost the EU's program. The European Medicines Agency authorized AstraZeneca's vaccine, which has been developed together with Oxford University for use in the European Union in January. Following that, millions of shots began shipping on Feb 5. as part of the initial 17 million doses that are due to be delivered over the next weeks, with more planned in March, AstraZeneca said in a statement on Wednesday. "AstraZeneca and IDT Biologika are exploring options to accelerate output of finished COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in the second quarter of 2021 in order to help support Europe's immediate vaccination needs during the pandemic," the company added. 9:41 a.m. Feb. 10, 2021

Food-Delivery Apps vs. Restaurants: The Dining Industry’s Covid Divide

Demand for food delivery has soared amid the pandemic, but restaurants are struggling to survive. In a fiercely competitive industry, delivery services are fighting to gain market share while facing increased pressure to lower commission fees and provide more protection to their workers. Video/Photo: Jaden Urbi/WSJ video content 5:30 a.m. Feb. 2, 2021

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Vaccine Update: Biden Plans to Vaccinate Most of U.S. by End of Summer

President Biden announced plans to boost supplies of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines sent to states for the next three weeks and purchase enough additional doses to vaccinate most of the U.S. population by the end of summer. Photo: Doug Mills/Getty Images video content

7:00 p.m. Jan. 26, 2021
U.K. consumer confidence wanes in January

U.K. Consumer sentiment dipped in January after heightened restrictions were enforced across the country to contain the spread of the coronavirus, according to GfK's consumer-confidence index. The indicator, complied by German market research firm GfK, fell two points from the previous month to minus 28 in January, matching the forecast from economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

9:10 p.m. Jan. 21, 2021
Fauci Says the U.S. Will Remain in the WHO

President Biden's top medical adviser on Covid-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci, announced​ Thursday​ that the U.S. will remain a member of the World Health Organization, reversing the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw. Photo: AFP/Getty video content

7:02 a.m. Jan. 21, 2021
IAG agrees to acquire Air Europa for a deferred, lower price tag of €500 million

International Airlines Group on Wednesday announced a cut-price deal for Air Europa worth €500 million ($607 million). Under terms of the deal, IAG-owned Iberia Airlines will acquire all shares of the rival airline from owner Globalia Corporacion Empresarial, but the amount to be paid has been reduced from €1 billion, and will be deferred until the sixth anniversary of the deal's completion. Revised deal terms are dependent on negotiations between Iberia and industrial holding company Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales regarding financial support it provided to Air Europa in 2020. The deal is expected to complete by the second half of 2021, but still subject to EU approval. IAG expects the purchase of the Spanish airline to "generate significant cost and revenue synergies," now expected by 2026, and be earnings accrective in the first full year after the deal is competed.

2:56 a.m. Jan. 20, 2021
German Chancellor Merkel sees Twitter ban on Trump as 'problematic': report

German Chancellor Angela Merkel may not be among those not cheering Twitter's decision to permanently ban President Donald Trump. The ability to express oneself freely is a right of "elementary significance," Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, reportedly said on Monday when asked about the microblogger's Friday decision to ban Trump after some of his supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol building, leaving five dead. "This fundamental right can be intervened in, but according to the law and within the framework defined by legislators - not according to a decision by the management of social media platforms," he said in Berlin while speaking to reporters. "Seen from this angle, the chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the U.S. president have now been permanently blocked." Shares of Twitter fell 8% on Monday, while Facebook shares dropped over 2% after the social media network suspended Trump's account on Thursday.

10:23 a.m. Jan. 11, 2021
Israel Plans to Vaccinate Everyone by March. Here’s How.

Israel says it’s on track to vaccinate everyone over 16 by the end of March. To understand how the small country has vaccinated more of its population than any other so quickly, WSJ visited clinics that are giving shots to young and middle-aged citizens. Photo: Tamir Elterman for The Wall Street Journal video content

7:19 a.m. Jan. 11, 2021
U.K. consumer confidence increases in December

Consumer confidence in the U.K. increased in December as prospects for the economic situation in the near future soared amid the start of the Covid-19 vaccination program in the country. The Consumer Confidence Barometer, compiled by German market-research company GfK, rose to minus 26 in December compared with the minus 33 reading registered the prior month.

8:55 p.m. Dec. 17, 2020
Bank of England holds interest rates, bond-buying program steady

The Bank of England unanimously decided to keep interest rates and its bond-buying program unchanged on Thursday as Brexit trade deal negotiations reached the final stretch. The central bank's monetary policy committee opted to hold interest rates at 0.1% and maintain the size of its quantitative easing program at £895 billion, both by 9-0 votes. The pound remained higher, up 0.8% to $1.3691, amid optimism over a Brexit trade deal being reached. The FTSE 100 was flat, weighed by sterling strength.

7:13 a.m. Dec. 17, 2020

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