Independent Strategy

Tags: Google Mobility

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 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.

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.

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.

The latest Google activity figures (through to 22nd May) continue to support the strong global recovery narrative with the latest improvement being driven by ongoing gains in Europe.  Indeed France and Germany led the increase in activity last week, with Italy, Spain and the UK also in our top group (alongside Russia).  Mexico, Australia and the US recorded small gains too.

Post-Easter recovery has gathered pace with a substantial improvement in European mobility and economic activity over the past week (to 17th April).  The rebound was fairly even across Germany and Italy, with a more modest improvement in Spain, although that comes from a substantially better starting position.  France also saw a pick up in activity, but given higher Covid case loads this was modest in comparison.  And with the UK lockdowns easing France now carries the mantle of the weakest of our survey group, a position it looks set to retain for a while.

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