Please find the latest edition of Weekly Digest attached.
Coronavirus cases continued to accelerate over the weekend and the global seven-day average number of infections has now reached 203k infections/day, up 11.4% week on week (roughly the same growth rate as last week and the week before that).
There are now 75 countries and regions with more than 100 infections/day (up from 71 last week). The median growth rate for countries with more than 100 infections/day is 9% week on week. It seems we could still be some way away from the global peak number of infections.
The Week Ahead
Attention turns to the US this week as a number of fiscal programmes authorised in March in response to the pandemic are shortly coming to an end. Most critically, the jobless benefits are due to expire this month. This has been very effective for US demand, with the National Bureau of Economic Research estimated that the insurance payments have exceeded prior income for 68% of laid-off workers and doubled income for the lowest paid. A package is in negotiation, with House Democrats proposing another $3 trillion, but Republicans only $1 trillion, as they want to wean the economy off support.
The mood music on China appears to be deteriorating. The squeeze on their access to technology may have many unintended consequences, and there are some parallels with the squeeze on Japan’s access to resources prior to WW2. On Friday, a rule was published that means any US government contractor must be 100% free of commercial ties with Huawei and Hikvision worldwide..
Earnings season kicks off again this week, with thirty-two companies from the S&P 500 due to report. Among those giving updates are PepsiCo, CitiGroup, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, ASML and Johnson & Johnson. The main economic data highlights are the release of UK GDP data on Tuesday, followed by China GDP data and unemployment data for the UK and US on Thursday.