Factory activity was ravaged across the world in April, business surveys showed, and the outlook looked bleak as government lockdowns to contain the new coronavirus pandemic froze global production and slashed demand.

The coronavirus has infected more than 3.5 million people globally and killed around 247,000. With the public told to stay home in numerous countries, the global economy is expected to suffer its steepest contraction on record this year as supply chains have been massively disrupted.

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 Germany’s highest court has cast doubts on key eurozone stimulus efforts by ruling that the European Central Bank must demonstrate within three months that a key bond-buying program is needed and appropriate.

If it fails to do so, Germany’s national central bank must stop participating in the program, the country’s top court said on Tuesday 5/5/2020.

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The global economy is expected to shrink by 3.0% during 2020 in a stunning coronavirus-driven collapse of activity that will mark the steepest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.

The IMF, in its 2020 World Economic Outlook, predicted a partial rebound in 2021, with the world economy growing at a 5.8% rate, but said its forecasts were marked by “extreme uncertainty” and that outcomes could be far worse, depending on the course of the pandemic.

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EU finance ministers have agreed a €500bn (£430bn; $540bn) rescue package for European countries hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

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When addressing his nation regarding the Covid19 pandemic, Vladimir Putin made an unexpected announcement regarding Russian Double Tax Treaties:  all dividends which are withdrawn to foreign accounts will suffer a 15% withholding tax. This is opposed to the current 5% rate applicable when the recipient of the dividends invests at least EUR 100,000 in the capital of the payer company; otherwise, the rate is 10%.

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