This report is a summary of third-party economic research and perspectives to foster communication with business and economic development stakeholders during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Global: The world’s largest trading bloc has been formed as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, covering nearly a third of the global economy.
- U.S.: A COVID-19 vaccine candidate from Moderna showed a vaccine efficacy of 94.5%.
- Ohio: New business filings in Ohio have eclipsed 2019 record numbers
The Institute of International Finance said global debt ballooned by $15T this year to $272T through September. Developed markets’ overall debt jumped to 432% of GDP in the third quarter, from a ratio of about 380% at the end of 2019. Fifteen countries have formed the world’s largest trading bloc, covering nearly a third of the global economy. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is made up of 10 Southeast Asian countries, as well as South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The World Trade Organization said governments took fewer actions to either ease or restrict trade in the last six months than in the previous, while most of the actions they did take were intended to free the movement of goods across borders.
Another 742,000 Americans filed for initial jobless claims last week, compared to 700,000 expected and a revised 711,000 during prior week. The number of people out of work for more than six months, the standard threshold for long-term unemployment, rose 1.2M in October, to 3.6M, and about a third of the roughly 11M jobless workers were long-term unemployed. Roughly 12M will lose their unemployment benefits on December 26 when two major pandemic programs expire. The CDC’s partial federal eviction moratorium is also scheduled to expire at the end of the year.
A second COVID-19 vaccine, from Moderna, yielded extraordinarily strong early results. Pfizer’s must be kept around minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit while Moderna’s vaccine can be thawed and kept in a regular refrigerator for 30 days. Concerns over vaccine storage and distribution amid unprecedented global demand are weighing on the anticipation of a vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech even as the companies prepare to fulfill commitments of dose delivery by the end of 2020. Yields on the 10-year Treasury jumped to 0.957% on Nov. 9 from 0.821% on Nov. 6 after Pfizer announced positive developments on its coronavirus vaccine.
States react as COVID cases surge. California reinstituted bans on many indoor businesses. Michigan ordered a three-week partial shutdown, while Oregon, Washington and New Jersey tightened curbs. Iowa issued a limited mask mandate. Retail sales, a measure of purchases at stores, restaurants and online, rose at its slowest pace since spring, seasonally adjusted 0.3% in October. Manufacturing output increased 1.0% in October. About 300 companies that received as much as half a billion dollars in pandemic-related government loans have filed for bankruptcy.
The rush to online shopping during the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating moves toward space-saving, automation-powered warehouses. The price of pressure-treated wood is about three times what it was at the beginning of 2020 due to a surge in demand for home fencing. Amazon is expanding to pharmaceutical deliveries as CVS and Walgreens also move into deliveries and Walmart launches clinics that provide primary, dental, and psychiatric care. COVID-19 pandemic in U.S. leads to steep drop in foreign college student enrollment.
With 15,470 new business filings in October, Ohio has already surpassed the record total for the entirety of 2019. Ohio’s unemployment rate was 5.6% in October 2020, down from a revised 8.3% in September. From October 2019 to October 2020, nonagricultural wage and salary employment decreased 353,600. Ohio’s unemployment claims took a sharp uptick last week to a rate not seen since the summer.
The Governor announced a 21-day statewide curfew as the state faces a COVID-19 surge. Stay-at-home orders are now in effect in three of the four largest cities in Ohio. Senator Portman is participating in a COVID-19 vaccine trial to try to boost public confidence in a shot when it becomes available. Washington County residents form broadband cooperative.
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