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.
The past week hasn’t really seen any substantial shifts in activity, even if it’s increasingly clear that we’re past the worst as Covid cases continue to decline globally and the first signs of the vaccine impact start to percolate into the data. In the overall rankings, it is the Europeans that remain the most depressed compared to pre-pandemic levels of activity, with the UK languishing at the bottom of that league. Germany and France took a step back based on the data, while there was a further mild improvement in Spain and Italy.