Independent Strategy

Macro Matters

December 2021

Independent Strategy Blog: Macro Matters

Google activity data has been updated through to the 12th December and while there hasn’t been any significant reversal, there look to be some signs at the margin that Omicron is starting to drag.  This comes from both the impact the strain is having on case numbers and confidence as well as the impact of more precautionary restrictions are having on activity to try and slow the spread.

Google activity data through to 5 December continues to paint a solid picture of the recovery, with no sign that the appearance of the Omicron variant is restraining either mobility or economic activity.  Most of our sample saw improvements week-on-week, led by US activity which reverted to trend post-Thanksgiving.  Only Russia and South Korea saw a dip, moving our total global measure back to its highs.

A surprisingly soft November non-farm payrolls report, but the devil is in the detail.  Non-farm employment rose 210k (mkt 550k) while private sector jobs growth came in at just 235k (mkt 530k).  Manufacturing payrolls added 31k jobs while government lost another 25k, their fourth consecutive decline.  The revisions upward at least, but not quite at the pace of the past 12-months.

Google mobility figures through to 28th October looked solid.  While we’ve seen rising Covid cases in Europe the impact on mobility and economic activity has been fairly well contained to date.  Indeed, Germany, France and Spain recorded improvements week on week while Italy saw a very mild dip.  The largest drop was recorded in the US but this is merely an effect of the Thanksgiving holiday which are not adjusted for in the raw data.  The drop was comparable to the decline we saw in this period last year. EMs all looking good.

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