COVID-19 Monitor

Last Updated:July 5, 2020

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Hard-hit industries clamor for regulations during pandemic (Washington Post) Published on: July 4, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact, Global Response
  • These business interests see a short-term battle against two hard-to-influence forces: individuals acting irresponsibly and a Trump administration that is reluctant to lay down the type of guidelines that would mandate individual behavior during the pandemic.
  • In early May, just 29 per cent of Americans were willing to fly on planes, according to an ABC/Ipsos poll, a share that grew to 44 per cent in early June, but by later in the month, the number had fallen to just 36 per cent.
  • In early June, 59 per cent of respondents said they were willing to eat at restaurants, up from 41 per cent in early May.
Driving Over Air Travel, Takeout Over Cafes: Pandemic Shapes Consumption (WSJ) Published on: July 4, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact
  • U.S. consumers are buying again, but their shopping patterns show broad fears of persistent health risks amid the pandemic.
  • Spending data reflect recent reopenings, with consumers cutting back on some online grocery purchases and flocking to hair salons and furniture stores.
  • Consumer spending is a critical engine of recovery, typically driving two-thirds of U.S. output.
European Workers Draw Paychecks. American Workers Scrounge for Food. (NY Times) Published on: July 3, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact, Global Response
  • The pandemic has ravaged Europeans and Americans alike, but the economic pain has played out in starkly different fashion.
  • The United States has relied on a significant expansion of unemployment insurance, cushioning the blow for tens of millions of people who have lost their jobs, with the assumption that they will be swiftly rehired once normality returns.
  • European countries — among them Denmark, Ireland, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Austria — have prevented joblessness by effectively nationalizing payrolls, heavily subsidizing wages and enabling paychecks to continue uninterrupted.
Prospering in the pandemic: the market winners (FT) Published on: July 3, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact
  • The latest in a series on companies that have defied the gloom.
  • At the start of 2020, Novavax was valued at $93m, the sort of level it had bounced around for most of its three decades on the stock market. Today the Maryland-based biotech company has a market capitalisation of $4.1bn.
  • In a series of articles on those fortunate few, the FT is looking at successes in gaming, cloud computing, pharmaceuticals and e-commerce.
Some jobs are coming back, but economy will need years to heal (Washington Post) Published on: July 3, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact
  • Sales were stronger than expected when Macy’s reopened its first stores in early May, after a nearly seven-week coronavirus shutdown. But that initial surge soon fizzled, leaving the retailer’s brick-and-mortar business down more than one-third.
  • Employers are rehiring workers faster than economists anticipated, at least as of mid-June when the latest Labor Department survey was taken.
  • New national data on credit card spending, restaurant reservations and small-business hours show that the recovery from the recession that began in February may already be losing steam.
With a Few Covid-19 Adjustments, Chinese Factory Gets Back to Work (WSJ) Published on: July 3, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact, Global Response
  • China, which began restarting its manufacturing plants over four months ago after Covid-19 forced a nationwide shutdown, provides a template for how this can be done safely.
  • Workers had their temperatures checked four times a day, and shifts, which normally last 12 hours, were reduced to six or even four hours to limit the workers’ exposure to one another.
  • For a time, ZF provided workers with lunchboxes instead of having them use the factory’s canteen, fearing that communal eating might increase the risk of infection.
Business advocates ask Alberta government to supply non-AHS doctors with PPE, according to CFIB survey (Global News) Published on: July 3, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business
  • The costs of extra masks and other protective gear are starting to add up for private-sector health-care providers across Canada, so much so that some are worried about going out of business.
  • Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ latest survey shows that 88 per cent of doctors who work outside of provincial health-care systems are concerned about how much they’ll have to spend on PPE.
  • Nearly half of those surveyed say they expect to have problems with the supply of PPE in the future.
It’s July 4, but the Firework Shows Won’t Go On (NY Times) Published on: July 3, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • As many as 80 per cent of community fireworks displays in large cities and small rural towns have been canceled this year over fear that they would create a social distancing nightmare.
  • For the 150 companies across the country that thrill spectators with their booming, colorful explosions in the skies, the two weeks around the July Fourth holiday make up about three-quarters of their revenue.
  • Some of the fireworks display companies have, over the past decade or so, branched out to broader entertainment arenas, creating “ooohs” and “aaahhs” at major- and minor-league baseball stadiums as well as complex pyrotechnics for rock concerts, music festivals, and indoor basketball and hockey games.
Cash can’t fix the economy’s problems until the coronavirus is curbed (Axios) Published on: July 2, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact
  • Thursday’s jobs report showed 4.8 million jobs created in June, but those were overwhelmingly people beginning to return to places where they had been temporarily laid off.
  • The number of “permanent job losers” went up, not down, rising 25 per cent in just one month to 2.8 million from 2.2 million.
  • Americans saved 32 per cent of their income in April, and 23 per cent in May — numbers vastly higher than all previous records.
In the Covid-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job. You Can’t Have Both. (NY Times) Published on: July 2, 2020 | Category: Leadership
  • Our struggle is not an emotional concern. We are not burned out. We are being crushed by an economy that has bafflingly declared working parents inessential.
  • It should be obvious, but a nonnegotiable precondition of “getting back to normal” is that families need a normal to return to as well.
  • Under the best of circumstances, the impact on children will still be significant. Students will lose most of a year of learning as parents — their new untrained teachers — cannot supervise in any meaningful way while Zooming into the office.
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