The Scottish regional election is potentially shaping up to have a big impact on the future of the UK. Scottish independence has returned to the top of the agenda and the SNP will argue to have a fresh mandate. The economic argument for Scottish independence is weak, but the Conservatives aren’t in the position to credibly make this case.
The establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia has more symbolic than economic value. Even though the Australian labour market has shown a strong performance over the last months, the end of the JobKeeper program is hanging above the labour market like the sword of Damocles.
One of China’s major state owned entities, Huarong, has come under stress recently. The situation is a test case for Beijing’s willingness to bail out struggling state owned firms that are big and important.
In the first quarter, the Eurozone economy contracted with 0.6%. Germany the performed worst among the large Member States (-1.7%). We project the recovery to resume in the current quarter and the EU recovery fund to lift GDP by 0.5% over 2021 and 2022.
After a contraction in Q1, we project subdued economic growth in Q2 and a pronounced recovery in the second half of the year. It will take until mid-2023 before Spain’s GDP will reach its pre-COVID level, provided that the vaccination pace accelerates.
The ECB has acquired a large part of the public debt of EMUs member states. This debt has lost its monetary significance. It would be a big mistake of future fiscal policy doesn't take this into account.
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.
China’s Q1 GDP growth surged to 18.3% on a year-to-year basis, mainly due to the low base in Q1 2020. We think the pace of the recovery will slow as the initial pent up demand in China dies out and policy support is scaled back.
Advanced G20 countries have really fired up the cash cannon compared to emerging G20 economies during Covid-19. But without this sizeable government spending by both the advanced and the emerging G20 countries, G20’s total contraction could have been four times more severe.
President Biden has presented his American Jobs Plan, which amounts to about $2 trillion in spending on infrastructure and care. This should be financed by raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21% and by other tax measures aimed at corporations.
The rising tensions between China, the EU, US, UK and Canada could have wide implications, from hurting the chances of ratifying the recent EU China investment deal to effects on the global supply of cotton.
India showed 0.4% GDP growth in Q3 of FY21. Unfortunately a second wave of Covid cases is on the rise, which might hamper growth in the next months. Although vaccine implementation started mid-January, the pace of vaccination must accelerate if India is to reap economic benefits in 2021. Fortunately, availability of vaccines is not a constraint.