Spain is in the midst of a heavy third coronavirus wave. The government hopes it can avert a full lockdown, but the economy will suffer anyhow. We think the economy contracted in 20Q4 and pencil in another contraction for the current quarter.
Economic Comment Dutch version
Hard economic data usually comes available at quite some lag. To gauge the economic impact of COVID-19 we look at more timely economic indicators that are readily available. Data on traffic jams, international flights, and restaurant bookings are released sooner and more frequently. This helps us to better monitor the economic situation during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Italian government survived the confidence votes in parliament, but its mandate has weakened. Policymaking will be somewhat more difficult, while the third COVID wave pushes the economy back into recession.
While we expect Biden’s policies to boost economic growth, we do not expect them to end the vicious cycle of polarization and social unrest that is undermining the country. In foreign and trade policy, Biden is likely to return to a multilateral approach.
The EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) should improve EU companies’ access to China and ‘level’ the playing field. However, its commitments are ‘weak’ and the envisaged dispute resolution mechanism lacks teeth.
A new strain of coronavirus has been found in Japan while a third wave of cases sweeps over the country. That will cause the economy to contract in the first quarter of this year. In that sense, the situation will get worse before it gets better.
We expect Indian GDP to contract by -8.4% (y/y) in fiscal 20/21 and grow by 9.7% (y/y) in fiscal 21/22. The INR is projected to appreciate in tandem with the expected global economic recovery and boosted by optimistic global investor sentiment.
On January 6, Trump supporters stormed Congress. The ever increasing polarization of US politics and society has reached a level that poses a serious threat to the stability of the country. If the US does not find an off-ramp from this route, we are only going to see a further escalation of civil unrest.
The EU-UK trade agreement marks the start of a complex relationship in which the UK and the EU will have to learn to live together separately. This won’t be without frictions.