Independent Strategy

Tags: Covid-19

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.

Vaccinations Total global vaccinations administered rose 6% (down from a growth rate of 7% in the prior period), an increase of 210mn.  The rate of increase fell everywhere in both developed and developing economies, with the exception of Southeast Asia.

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.

Covid-19 Database Weekly Update: Vaccinations, Daily Infections, Fatalities and Active Cases for regions and countries covering the last 7 days, up to 30 June 2021. Key investor relevance: 

  1. The data shows a sharp split between developing countries, doing better, and developed countries still mired in the pandemic, but now with rising vaccinations from a low base
  2. The major risk is that the Delta variant spreads in developed countries that have opened up.  Of course, there is now a greater tolerance for “just living with acceptable levels of Covid-19”.  But there are limits.

Total global vaccinations rose 11.8% or by 260mn – roughly stable on the week.  Vaccinations per 100 of the population is now above the critical 30 level in all regions except South Asia (India 20), Russia (24) and Africa (3).  Share of population fully vaccinated: world 10%, EU 24%, US 45%, UK 46%, South America 11%, Asia (ex China, which does not report) 7.9%.

The latest Google mobility update (through to 29th May) continues to show strong progress towards normalisation of the global economy. Of our survey group only three (23% of sample) recorded a w/w decline in activity and all of this was in places that shouldn’t really be a cause for concern. And the most notable victim of the virus (India) has finally managed to bounce. We also saw upticks in Japan, where an increase in cases had also worried.

In the last 7 days: Global Daily Infections fell 19.6% and the RO/RE rate has fallen to 0.79 from 0.89 and 1.36 nearly a month ago.  This level of RO/RE indicates a waning pandemic.  Daily infections fell in all regions except Latin America and Asia.  In India daily case fell from 341k/day to 263k/day.

Analysing the weekly vaccinations data some things stand out:

  1. Daily infections are falling everywhere except in South Asia (+18% on the week to 384k/day).
  2. EU daily infections are down 19% for last week (vs. previous seven days).
  3. Global vaccinations are up 14% on the week. Some signs of vaccine fatigue in the US (+8%) & UK (+6%).
  4. The EU crossed (what I think is a critical) threshold of 30 vaccinations per 100 population with 33. Share of the population with 1 shot or more is 24% up from 21%.

During lockdown people shopped online.  Not all needs could be met online.  So pent up saving grew to 4-8% of GDP most places.  Now it is expected some of the pent-up savings will be spent as Pandemic declines in rich countries.  It may be more in the EU than expected.  Because it is harder to shop online in the EU.  So pent up demand may be greater.

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