Independent Strategy

Tags: Google Mobility

Google mobility data continues to paint an improving picture, with mobility and economic activity nudging higher again over the past week.  And the breadth of improvement is encouraging too. There was a solid increase across Europe in particular, driven by Germany but France, Italy, Spain and the UK also moved positively.  Developed Asia also fared well.  There was a modest dip in Australia amid some short-term localised lockdowns, but the damage from pre-Covid levels is far milder here anyway.

Global

POST » 10th February, 2021 » Early signs of recovery

With the continued decline in new reported Covid cases globally, it is no surprise that we’ve started to see an improvement in overall activity levels.  At least based on the Google data. Indeed, all but one of the countries in our sample recorded a week on week improvement.  The worst was France and that was simply stable.  Europe remains at the bottom of the pile in terms of overall activity, but the corner has certainly been turned and we’d expect to see this pick-up to extend and accelerate over the coming weeks.

Global

POST » 3rd February, 2021 » Steady, ahead of recovery

Another week of relative stability as measures to contain the pandemic remained static in most places.  More draconian restrictions in Europe leave the region at the bottom end of the spectrum while EMs and Asia rate far better.

Global

POST » 27th January, 2021 » Stuck in the doldrums

Economic activity seems to be bedding down in the doldrums amid lockdowns and other varying restrictions on activity.  Europe continues to suffer the most, although weak activity remains a broad phenomenon.

The noise of the holiday period might have overstated the extent of the decline in economic activity but there is no doubting that the backdrop remains very depressed.  Lockdowns and other restrictions remain the driver of this, with Europe bearing the brunt of the hit.  But high levels of Covid infection continues to dampen the economy even in places where efforts to tackle the virus are less draconian.

As we move into 2021, we are getting a clearer picture into the extent of the slowdown in economic activity that the resurgent Coronavirus has triggered.  Although the Google mobility indices were already indicating a sharp deterioration, the scale of the decline reported through to the turn of the year was exaggerated by holiday effects, as we noted last time.  Data through to the 8th of January, which was released yesterday, gives us a clearer picture of how things stand.  And while it is not quite as bleak as over the Christmas and New Year period, the data still paints a fairly poor picture of global economic health.

The re-acceleration of Covid infections has hit mobility hard over the past two weeks.  Although there are clearly seasonal factors at work (which the Google data series do not account for), we’ve clearly seen a pronounced deterioration in both mobility and economic activity above and beyond what could have been normally expected. This has been concentrated in Europe, with a particularly severe drop in Germany where our economic activity measure suggests things are even worse than at the peak of the crisis last April.  Italy and the UK have also registered steep falls, while Spain and France have seen more modest drops.

Global

POST » 17th December, 2020 » Steadier mobility indicators

Globally, the Google mobility and economic activity indices haven’t budged much over the past week.  That’s a good thing as they’ve sustained the pickup seen in late November, defying the rebound in Covid infection rates we’ve seen in several places.  This also takes us through the noise of US Thanksgiving.

Global

POST » 9th December, 2020 » The activity bounce

There has been a strong pick up in the DM mobility indices over the past week, the US rebounding over the Thanksgiving period while the easing of restrictions in Europe have boosted mobility and economic activity there – the most notable improvement being in France.  Trends elsewhere remain similar, with the exception of Korea which has seen a continued deterioration amid a “third wave” there and tighter restrictions, which continue to be added to.

The Google mobility indicators show a further decline in both mobility and economic activity over the past week.  The dip perhaps overstates the scale of the drop with US Thanksgiving holiday (which generated a bump in activity going into the holiday, and dip during and after) combining with tougher localised restrictions there.  The story in Europe was better.

Global

POST » 25th November, 2020 » Weak Europe, US to follow?

The latest google mobility statistics suggest things have stabilised a little.  Although the devil is in the detail.  On the DM side, Europe looks fairly static from last week but this masks a further sharp drop in Italy, which offset something of a bounce in France and the generally steadier picture we’ve seen in Germany and Spain.

We’ve seen a further downturn in the European mobility, as national lockdowns continue to bite, with the UK, France and Italy all falling significantly over the past seven days.  Spain and Germany have been steadier, helped by the fact that they’ve been able to bend the Covid infection curve, with new cases rolling over and doing so from lower infection levels.  Looking at things globally the picture looks more balanced, European weakness offset by ongoing improvements across Asia and in the larger emerging markets.

The latest Google mobility data is starting to show the impact of lockdown 2.0.  What is interesting is how both Lockdown 2.0 is being implemented compared to the draconian measures enacted back in the spring, and how these restrictions are varying in their impact country to country.  The regional divergences we identified last time persist.  This is again a function of the resurgence of the virus in northern hemisphere developed markets, and the measures taken to combat this.

The tale of diverging fortunes between Asia and Europe (and to a lesser extent the US) persist in the latest Google mobility numbers, as rising Covid infections in certain countries drag on mobility.  The second round of national lockdowns in Europe have started to drag on overall mobility.

The resurgence of Coronavirus in the developed economies, specifically Europe and to a lesser extent (so far) the US is leading to a clear divergence in economic activity  According to the latest global mobility and economic activity data (running through to 16 October), DMs continue to show a deceleration in activity.

Global mobility and economic activity data, published by Google, is pointing to some loss in the momentum of recovery.  Although the mobility indices continue to register small improvements (despite the resurgence of the virus in many places), economic activity is not following through from that.

To refresh, these indices measure the level of activity as measured against the pre-pandemic level using the Google Mobility Indexes, adjusted by Independent Strategy.  Activity is a smoothed average of the economic and mobility measures, which provides a guide to the current recovery trend.  The data runs through to the end of September.

These indices measure the level of activity as measured against the pre-pandemic level using the Google Mobility Indexes as adjusted by Independent Strategy.  Activity is an average of the economic and mobility measures.  The data are weighted and averaged over seven days to define the trend.  The data runs through to 11 September.  The current deviation from where things stood pre-crisis is shown in Figure 1.

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