Waiting for the Next Historic Number: Global Economy Week Ahead

As the true economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic becomes clear, economists seeing unprecedented data releases on an almost daily basis are gearing up for even worse to come.

In the U.S. and the rest of the world, reports showing historic spikes in joblessness and declines in activity have been accompanied with warnings that even more concerning data will follow once the full impact of the lockdown in much of the world becomes clear.

This week the focus will once again rest on the U.S. labor markets, and the weekly release of jobless claims data that has jumped by almost 10 million across the last two reports. The Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank are also both scheduled to release minutes which may include details of their thought process as they injected waves of emergency stimulus into the economy.

Here’s what happened last week and below is our wrap of what else is coming up in the world economy.

33,264 in U.S.Most new cases today

-26% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-1.​138 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23


    Central banks in Australia and South Korea meet, though after their emergency actions in mid March, it’ll be a quieter affair. On the data front, China consumer and factory prices for March will be scrutinized for any signs of how the coronavirus is impacting supply chains and demand.

    • For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for Asia

    Europe, Middle East and Africa

    After dismal PMIs last week, the Bank of France’s business sentiment index on Wednesday is predicted to fall to the lowest since the financial crisis. Meanwhile, industrial production numbers for Germany, France and Italy for February will provide pre-pandemic data and the U.K. is also due to release growth figures from February, which will give a sense of the strength of the economy going into the lockdown.

    The Swiss National Bank said last month it was stepping up currency interventions to stem the franc’s advance and data on Tuesday will provide insight into how much the it spent to keep that pledge.

    Israel’s central bank may cut its benchmark interest rate to 0.1% from 0.25% on Monday, its latest move to respond to the economic havoc wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic, after earlier committing to purchasing 50 billion shekels ($13.8 billion) of government bonds from the secondary market. Serbia and Poland also have rate decisions and Czech lawmakers are expected to approve a new law on the central bank, which will give it an option to start asset purchases.

    In South Africa, Wednesday’s data will probably show business confidence deteriorated in March, a picture that’s likely to get worse due to the nationwide lockdown in April. Car sales data from Russia on Monday will be one of the first indications of how hard consumers there have been hit by the virus fallout and the ruble’s crash.

    • For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for EMEA

    U.S. and Canada

    Expect investors to focus Wednesday on the release by the Fed of meeting minutes -- which are expected to include details on their decisions to slash interest rates and support the economy. On Thursday, eyes will turn to the latest data on jobless claims, which have surged to record levels as the public health crisis intensified.

    Meanwhile, Canada’s jobs report on Thursday will will be the first data point on how deeply the pandemic has impacted the nation’s labor market.

    • For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for the U.S.

    Latin America

    Mexico has so far been Latin America’s odd man out compared to the spending packages other governments are rolling out against the coronavirus pandemic. Adamantly opposed to any response that adds to government debt, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Sunday is slated to release his plan to address the crisis. If Lopez Obrador keeps a lid on fiscal stimulus, data out Tuesday showing inflation well within the target range and slowing would give the central bank room for additional monetary stimulus.

    • For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for Latin America

    — With assistance by Benjamin Harvey, Malcolm Scott, Peggy Collins, Michael Winfrey, Robert Jameson, and Theophilos Argitis

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    Gov. Andrew Cuomo Warns New York ‘Not Yet Ready’ For Coming Coronavirus Peak

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a warning Saturday, saying the state has about seven days to prepare for the “apex” of the coronavirus outbreak.

    “Our reading of the projections is, we are somewhere in the seven-day range, four, five, six, seven, eight-day range,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing on the COVID-19 crisis.

    He cautioned that the state is not yet ready for the coming surge in cases.

    “Part of me would like to beat the apex, and just let’s do it,” he said. “But there’s part of me that says it’s good that we’re not at the apex because we’re not yet ready for the apex, either.”

    Cuomo said like many other parts of the country, the state faces critical shortages of medical equipment, including masks and ventilators.

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    “The more time we have to improve the capacity of the city, the better,” he stated.

    Despite his concerns, there was some good news. In a Saturday press release, Cuomo announced that 1,000 ventilators from China were to arrive today at Kennedy Airport.

    The donation was made possible by the Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation, and facilitated by the Chinese Government and China’s Consul General in New York, Huang Ping. Along with the ventilators, the Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation also donated one million surgical masks, a million N95 Masks and more than 100,000 pairs of goggles.

    Among other donations announced by Cuomo’s office in the release — the NBA contributed one million surgical masks in collaboration with the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets. Additionally, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown offered New York 140 ventilators

    Cuomo promised to repay the favor to Oregon.

    “We are so grateful to @OregonGovBrown and the people of Oregon,” he tweeted. “On behalf of the people of NY, I thank you and rest assured that NY will repay the favor when Oregon needs it.”

    Saturday figures showed the number of people infected with COVID-19 in the U.S. has topped 300,000, with the death toll at more than 8,400. In New York state, 3,565 deaths have been reported, including more than 1,900 in New York City.

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