14 May 2020

ISA Coronavirus Update (13th of May)

Daily Summary

The number of cases of Covid-19 around the world rose to more than 4.4 million, with an ever-larger share of these cases being found in emerging markets.  Meanwhile, the official death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic approached 300,000.

In the United States, the total number fatalities from the Covid-19 pandemic rose to more than 85,000, or 28.5% of the total global fatalities.  However, this figure hid the fact that there were great discrepancies in terms of the impact of the pandemic in different areas of the US, with the New York area accounting for nearly 45% of all of the fatalities in that country.

For eleven consecutive days, the number of new Covid-19 cases diagnosed in Russia has surpassed 10,000, bringing the total number of cases there to 242,000.  Meanwhile, there have been reports that the actual number of fatalities in that country may be ten-times higher than the official number of 2,212.

The number of Covid-19 cases in Brazil continued to rise sharply, with the total number of cases in that country now more than 190,000.  Brazil now accounts for more than half of all of the official cases of Covid-19 in South America.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the Covid-19 virus may never go away and instead, become another endemic virus that remains a constant threat to global health.


Key Developments

Industrial Troubles: Recent data on industrial production for March 2020 highlights how hard the industrial sector is being hit by the pandemic,  In the Eurozone, industrial production fell by nearly 13% year-on-year, while in the US, it fell by 5.5%.  More major declines are expected.

Central European Concerns: We have dramatically reduced our GDP growth forecasts for Central Europe this week due to the significant impact that the pandemic is having on that region’s key export markets.  As a whole, Central Europe’s economy is now forecast shrink by 7% in 2020.


Trend to Watch

Greenhouse gas emissions in most of the world’s largest countries are now forecast to decline significantly in 2020, including in emerging markets where the increase in greenhouse gas emissions has been the greatest in recent years.

The Coming Days

The EU and Germany will release their estimates for GDP growth in the first quarter of this year later this week, with both expected to show significant contractions.  However, these contractions will be small compared to what is coming in the second quarter.