Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – Back in the black

Global output returned to growth for the first time since January. July was a pivotal month for the PMI surveys with a surge in the number of economies crossing the expansion (>50) threshold. The US, Eurozone, UK, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland PMIs all returned to growth last month for the first time since COVID-19 struck. Notable absentees still stuck in the red (contraction) include Brazil, India, Japan and Scotland. 

Negative And Positive Thinking. Optimism or pessimism is a personal choice. Friendly or aggressive attitude
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Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – Uncomfortably numb?

Q2 GDP fell off a cliff. Yet months of shocking headlines has made record declines feel somewhat “normal”. They’re not. What is creating a stir is the rising number of hotspots locally as well as globally. The battle with the virus is going to be long, drawn out, and fraught with unpalatable trade-offs, especially between lives and livelihood.

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Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – Shifting gears

As the data points to the initial post-Covid economic liftoff continuing, attention has turned squarely to limiting further economic fallout and encouraging the recovery. Last week Chancellor Sunak targeted support at the jobs market. This week European leaders meet to approve a proposed €750bn coronavirus recovery package. Expect plenty more in the coming months as the scale of the recovery challenge becomes ever more apparent.

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Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – An atypical recession

After record declines the PMI surveys for June suggests that a rebound is underway. But then this was expected. And doesn’t alter the outlook of a long and uncertain recovery. The chances of substantial job losses and preventing a flare-up in infections as the economy open up will be among the key challenges. Look no further than the US which has already seen some of the states reimpose restrictions as the second wave continues to intensify.

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Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – Further loosening

Retail sales bounced back in May across much of the developed world, thanks to pent up consumer demand. Infections also seem stable across much of Europe. So does this mean a swift recovery from here on? Sadly, perhaps not. Labour markets remain fragile and new infections are rising globally, including parts of the US. So unsurprisingly, policy taps were loosened further last week. 

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Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – Step by step

A week with cause for cautious optimism. The report card on various countries reopening show no upturn in cases in Western Europe. While a better than expected US jobs report and recovering PMIs in China provide some encouragement. But the damage wrought is extensive. It will be a long, arduous journey through recovery with the risk of setbacks along the way considerable. The rising number of cases in the southern US a prime example.

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