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Germany: The calm before the labor market storm

In March, the German labor market appeared initially unaffected by the Covid-19 induced economic crisis, with unemployment posting a small decline compared to the previous month. But don’t be fooled by the latest figure, which looks like “the calm before the storm”.

COVID-19 crisis in Europe to put 13,000 corporates at risk

In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, we estimate that turnovers of Eurozone companies could fall between -15% to -25% y/y at the peak of the crisis end of March. Operating margins could be indented by 1.0pp to 1.5pp.

Reading the recession in the PMI leaves

Eurozone March PMIs are “old news” for financial markets but they reiterate the historical  proportions of the economic setback currently underway, with many survey components reaching all-time lows. While a dramatic setback in Eurozone manufacturing was widely expected amid the COVID-19 crisis and already largely priced in by financial markets, today’s release still underlines the swiftness and severity of the resulting economic downturn.

The Fed goes unlimited. Really?

In response to the worsening of global macroeconomic conditions, increasing confinement measures taken by U.S. states, the uninterrupted fall of the equity market and  growing signs of liquidity stress, the Fed has  announced a new round of measures to keep financial markets operating smoothly, and to provide lending more directly to those sectors most in need.

COVID-19: Quarantined Economics

The COVID-19 outbreak has forced governments to put the world on an unprecedented pause, for at least three months, to flatten the contagion curve. Since January, the impact of the outbreak has unfolded from a China-centered supply shock, which sent shockwaves across global trade and disrupted supply chains, to an unraveling of financial markets as investors realized the unavoidability recession, to a violent demand shock hurting consumption and investment in China, Europe, and the U.S..

ECB: From "whatever it takes" to "bring it on"

Last night, following an emergency meeting of its governing council, the ECB announced a new temporary asset purchase program worth EUR750bn (around 6% of Eurozone GDP) until the end of the year - or longer if needed - in response to the COVID-19 outbreak

COVID-19: A timid “whatever it takes” from policy makers across Europe

This week, policy makers stepped up, as containment measures could cost between 0.7pp to -3.0pp of GDP growth depending on the country and the severity of the lockdowns. Next to steps aimed at keeping a lid on contagion and boosting the resilience of national health systems, fiscal and monetary policy measures, from Italy to the UK and Germany, to the ECB, have been –or will– be announced in an effort to cushion the sharp economic contraction that is in the cards for H1 2020.


COVID-19: After a lost quarter, 75% of China is back

Chinese foreign trade growth in the first two months of 2020 was the lowest since 2016. The drop remains nonetheless small compared to the global financial crisis in 2009, when exports and imports slowed as much as -26.5% and -43.1% y/y in a month. In January and February 2020, Chinese exports and imports declined respectively by -17.2% and -4.0% y/y. The drop in exports was larger than expected and implies the weakest start of the year since 2016. The coming months could show further deterioration in China’s foreign trade, as containment measures across the world act as a major trade barrier.

Low for longer oil prices: Who is at risk?

The negative growth impact is increasing with the time oil prices will remain below 45 USD/bbl In particular, oil-exporting economies are likely to suffer with Ecuador and Colombia expected to lose more than -1pp of real GDP growth for a fall in oil prices of 10 USD/bbl. Mexico, Russia and the UAE are expected to lose more than -0.5pp. The impact from lower oil prices for Saudi Arabia remains more contained, at -0.2pp for oil prices falling by 10 USD/bbl given that the positive impact on growth from higher export volumes and inventories will largely counterbalance negative effects from reduced incomes and some fiscal austerity.

Women live longer – but men catch up

Women have a significantly longer life expectancy than men – but the lead has shrunk from 6.8 years to 4.8 years in the last forty years. Lifestyle changes are responsible for this: while men are becoming more health-conscious and avoid risks, women seem to be moving in the opposite direction. This development can be observed in all rich countries: The men are catching up.