COVID-19 Update

Every country is a world unto itself when it comes to an assessment of where it stands in the struggle to rebound from the SARS-CoV-2 crisis. A differentiated look should be taken, but for the purpose of this abridged summary, a global pan will have to suffice. We can do no better than to reproduce the latest graphics on the spread of the pandemic at the global level and put emphasis on key data.



Health


The number of infections per day stands at 235,860, as of 6 October. The cumulative total for infections in 214 countries has passed 36 million on the same date, and the number of deaths has exceeded one million a few days earlier. About the only good news to report: more than 27 million have recovered from COVID-19 infections.



Economy


ASIA

  • CHINA, which saw its economy shrink for the first time in decades, reported a gross domestic product (GDP) contraction for the first quarter: -6.8%. For the second quarter, the GDP bounced back into growth with 3.2%. The third quarter was marked by even more growth: +5.2%

  • In JAPAN, the decline in real GDP equates to a 7.9% decrease on a seasonally adjusted quarterly basis.

AMERICAS

  • The GDP for the USA had fallen by a record -9.5%. in the second quarter. The third-quarter figure will likely show substantial growth, but the economy will have shrunk further from July through September.

  • After the GDP for CANADA shrank at a record -12% in the second quarter – it will rebound for Q3. Analysts project a contraction of -6.4% for the whole of 2020.

EUROPE

  • GERMANY’s GDP shrank by -11.3% in the second quarter of 2020, the deepest economic contraction on record. An increase of 6% over Q2 is expected for Q3.

  • FRANCE recorded a GDP contraction of -13.8% for the second quarter. For the whole of 2020, projections call for -12%, despite a significant recovery during Q3, with the economy at 95% of pre-COVID-19 levels.

  • ITALY had a -12.4% for GDP in Q2. Figures are not yet available for Q3, but recovery is reportedly slow.

  • A more detailed report with a focus on (indoor) skydiving was published for SPAIN under the title dESPite all odds

OCEANIA

  • GDP contraction of -7% in AUSTRALIA and of -11% in NEW ZEALAND in Q2, with strong Q3 recoveries hampered by a second wave of infections in both countries.


CONSUMER SPENDING

Even in CHINA, the one country that has – in the Chinese media – already achieved the V-shaped recovery curve, consumer spending is still significantly below the pre-COVID levels. While the Chinese economy grew more strongly than expected during the second and third quarters, retail sales are still lagging. In this respect, the gaps are widest in the sectors hospitality, leisure and travel.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

Oddly enough, the June 2020 Index for Consumer Confidence (by IPSOS) in the USA is still decidedly higher than its historical low at the turn of 2008/9, a period made infamous by the subprime mortgages and Lehman Brothers.

“Compared with all previous crises — including the global financial crisis (2008), the oil-price shocks of the 1970s or even the Great Depression of the 1930s — COVID-19 will likely have the most substantial impact on the global economy, with a one-year reduction in worldwide GDP of more than 6%.
“The pandemic and its aftereffects will be felt throughout the real economy over the next several years.”

PriceWaterhouseCoopers

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