UK launches test, track and trace system / Dell posts Q1 earnings / US releases monthly GDP figures

By Robert Scammell


Good morning, here’s your Thursday morning briefing. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

UK launches test, track and trace system

Today the UK launches its test, track and trace system as it seeks to gradually reopen parts of the country from lockdown.

People in England that test positive for Covid-19 will be asked to share the details of those they have been in close contact with. Some 25,000 contact tracers will then get in touch with those connections and ask them to self-isolate for up to 14 days while they wait for a test result.

However, there are doubts over whether the system is fully ready, with insiders telling Sky News that some tracers were yet to get “their basic systems up and running”. When ready, the NHS contact-tracing app will be introduced to the scheme to automate some of the processes.

Dell posts Q1 earnings

Computer technology firm Dell Technologies is scheduled to post its first-quarter earnings for fiscal year 2021 when US markets close today.

Analysts forecast revenue for the quarter ending April to come in at $21.79bn. That would mark a year-over-year decline of 0.5% for the US multinational. They also expect quarterly earnings per share of $1.11.

Dell’s share price is down nearly 13% year-to-date. It’s unclear exactly how much the pandemic has affected the company, with sales possibly hit by reduced IT spending while offices are shut down.

US releases monthly GDP figures

The US today releases its latest gross domestic product figures, providing further insight into the economic damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Advanced estimates for the first quarter of 2020 suggested a 4.8% contraction of GDP, compared to growth of 2.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019.

US jobless claims have soared to record highs, with 38.6 million people applying for benefits in the past nine weeks.

Wednesday’s Highlights


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On the second anniversary of GDPR, Covid-19 brings new data protection challenges

Contact tracing app will be exploited for cyberattacks, half of UK citizens fear