The Omicron drag is still clearly present but the Google activity data through to 16th January paints a more encouraging picture than some had feared as this wave began in late November/early December. Indeed, the mildness of the disease, alongside its rapid spread seems to have front loaded the hit to activity, which bodes well for a continuing recovery over the next few weeks.
Google activity data has been updated through to the 3rd January 2022 giving us a complete picture as to what happened over the holiday period. A large drawdown in activity was expected given the lengthy closures we see at this time of year, but the rapid spread of Omicron has added a further dimension to this more normal seasonality. And the impact of that looks pretty severe.
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.
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.
The Google mobility data, through to 7th October, suggests activity has taken a bit of a stumble, with only two of our sample group (the UK and Australia) showing any improvement over the past week. The standout decliner was again Russia again, which is in something of a localised freefall at the moment. But we’d downplay the weakness seen in the rest of Europe, the last week of October being a seasonal weak spot due to mid-term school breaks (note the data is not adjusted) and, like the UK the week before, we should see a bounce in the next update. If we don’t then worry, but not until then.
The updated Google activity data, through to 31st October, remains encouraging. Bar Russia the picture improved across our pool versus the prior week with Mexico, Germany and India leading the pack. In terms of the breakdowns we saw a solid increase in economic activity, while mobility dipped or was flat. This was particularly visible in Europe and is partly seasonal with mid-term school breaks leading to a dip in mobility in some places. EM trends seem to be generally better than DMs, bar Russia. That is partially due to the persistent stagnation in the US indices, which damper the overall DM storm, Europe and DM Asia all looking solid.
The updated Google activity data, through to 9th October, continues to paint a picture of general resilience. Even in places like the UK, which have been subjected to disruptions (specifically fuel shortages) have held up, with barely a blip in the mobility numbers nor overall economic activity. Indeed, the biggest decliner across Europe over the past week has been Germany, and really that is relatively mild and comes off very strong levels. Italy, Spain and France all ticked down too. At the top end of the scale we saw further improvements in EMs, led by India and Brazil while Japan also continues to recover from its summer soft patch. The US is as ever static, having been that way since late spring really.
Google activity data through to 25th September looking a little softer. There are some tentative signs that economic activity is starting to slow in certain places, although by and large it’s outperforming mobility by a margin. Europe was broadly softer compared to the prior period, with the exception of the UK, which was actually up a little bit. But don’t expect that to last amid fuel disruptions which will enter the data next week.
Google activity data through to 17th remains positive, with none of the anxiety present in markets transmitting into the real economy while all the fuss about the Delta variant also seem to be having minimal impact in the real world – a function of the hugely successful vaccine programmes that continues to rollout globally and has reached effectively full coverage in nearly all of the major economies.
Google activity data through to 10th September shows a continuing pick-up in activity, underpinned by a continuing rise in mobility. Again, leading the drive higher has been Europe, notably Germany and Spain, but France, Italy and the UK also registered decent improvements. The bounce over the last couple of weeks is really a function of the ending of the summer holidays and start of the new school year. But economic activity is also looking fairly solid too.
Google activity data through to 3rd September providing some early insight into the post-summer mood, with activity pushing higher again. Only three of our country group saw declines in activity over the past week and in all cases the decline was mild.
Google activity data through to 27th August showing some stabilisation. The overall picture does not look too dissimilar to last summer when economies were operating relatively normally between the first and second waves. The picture for economic activity remains more positive than for overall mobility, as travelling habits and restrictions in some places continue to crimp that side of things. But as we’ve seen this year that hasn’t stopped the overall economic recovery from continuing.
Google activity data through to 31st July continues to paint a broad picture of resilience, with limited impact from the increase in Covid cases. Even in the economies in our group that have been most impacted by the Delta surge, the effect on activity has been pretty limited and economic activity continues to improve.
Amid the ongoing spread of the Delta variant the Google activity data through to 24th July is showing a fairly clear picture as to where the damage is being done. And its perhaps not much of a surprise to see that the places where vaccine rollout has been most efficient are faring rather better than in the countries where efforts have been rather more pedestrian.
The Google activity data through to 17th July continues to support the recovery thesis, with global activity remaining near its recent peaks and economic activity holding above its pre-pandemic starting point (+3pts). Mobility meanwhile has eased a little bit, remaining 17pts below where it stood pre-Covid.
The Google activity data through to 10th July throwing up nothing to alter the underlying view that the economic recovery continues to move ahead. Global activity is trundling along near recent highs. That is important given the recent uptick in Covid cases as the Delta variant continues to spread – largely we would stress among unvaccinated groups, which also happen to be in most cases those that are unlikely to suffer from the more severe symptoms that forced lockdowns earlier in the Pandemic.
Looking at the Google activity data through to 26th June it looks as if there are some early signs that the recent pick up in infections/increase in risk perceptions has started to eat into activity a little. But even in places where infection rates have risen fairly rapidly – the UK for example – the corresponding drop off in activity has been mild.
Google mobility indices show a further and broad based improvement in the week to June 12th. Global economic has all but recouped its post-Covid losses, but mobility is still some distance behind (a deficit of ~17% based on the data), although the trend here remains an improving one too.
Working through the latest Google mobility update (through to 5th June) you get an increasing sense of normality. Although most places are still showing activity levels below where they were pre-pandemic, the gap looks pretty small and momentum remains strong. Of our survey group four recorded w/w declines but really this is part of the ebb and flow rather than anything more sinister going on. Even India has managed to move higher as the recent Covid wave there continues to abate.