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.
Key Economic Insights
- Global: Global consumers are ready to unleash trillions of dollars in excess savings.
- U.S.: Economists on average expected gross domestic product to expand nearly 4.9% this year. Hiring in the U.S. technology sector continued on its upward trajectory in January.
- Ohio: Ohio landed four hospitals in the top 50 on Healthgrade’s 2021 America’s Best Hospitals list. Ohio State offers Apple app development and coding certificate courses to the public.
A new report shows global consumers are ready to unleash trillions of dollars in excess savings once the pandemic ends which will help boost developed countries’ GDP. The European Commission forecast that the Eurozone economic output would return to its pre-pandemic level earlier than previously expected. The Euro economy will grow by 3.8% this year, and at the same rate next year according to the commission. The region’s economy shrank by a record-breaking 6.8% last year. Without the resilience of the economies of East Asia and the Pacific, there would have been no global trade recovery at the end of last year, according to UNCTAD. New coronavirus variants are threatening the world’s economic recovery.
The U.S. bond yield curve reached its steepest point since 2015 on hopes of further economic rebound and the ongoing prospects of an increasingly large stimulus injection by the federal government. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has pushed back on talk of the Fed reducing its $120B in monthly bond purchases which will continue to hold down long-term yields even as they rise with improved economic conditions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high while both the S&P and Nasdaq hovered near all-time highs as investors are beginning to bet on more fiscal stimulus to ride out the remainder of the pandemic. Federal debt, which reached 100% of gross domestic product in the last fiscal year, is expected to rise to a record 107% of economic output by 2031, according to CBO.
Forecasters are increasingly optimistic about economic growth this year, though less so about the labor market’s prospects. Economists expected GDP to expand nearly 4.9% this year, an improvement from their previous prediction of 4.3%. New weekly jobless claims fell relative to the prior week’s level. This brought new claims for the week ended February 6 to the lowest level in five weeks. Federal Reserve Chairman Powell says that the January unemployment rate is closer to 10% after misclassification errors and those who left the workforce are factored in to the official government figure of 6.3%.
In January, another 275,000 women dropped out of the labor force, accounting for nearly 80% of all workers over the age 20 who left the workforce last month. This brings the total number of women who have left the labor force since February 2020 to more than 2.3M, and it puts women’s labor force participate rate at 57%, the lowest it has been since 1988. Hiring in the technology sector continued on an upward trajectory in January, with employers adding 19,500 jobs. Despite this, roughly 10M fewer Americans are employed compared to one year ago, and more than 20M are still seeking jobless aid of some form.
Authorities are investigating a counterfeit N95 mask operation in which fake 3M masks were sold in at least five states to hospitals, medical facilities and government agencies. The CDC released new data to support the use of double-masking and coverings that fit the face more snugly to more effectively prevent the spread of COVID-19. A unit of Royal Dutch Shell said it has agreed to supply Amazon with renewable energy, which will help power its business completely using clean energy by 2025, five years before its target. Governments, corporations and other groups raised a record $490B last year selling green, social and sustainability bonds.
Ohio Employment & Economic Insights
Ohio lifted its overnight curfew because the state’s coronavirus-related hospitalizations have remained below 2,500 a day for seven days. State officials are finalizing a list of potential sites for mass vaccinations. OBM’s Preliminary January revenue data shows total General Revenue Fund tax receipts finished the month $81.3M (3.6%) above the budgeted estimate.
Ohio landed four hospitals in the top 50 on Healthgrade’s 2021 America’s Best Hospitals List (Bethesda North Hospital, Christ Hospital, Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital and ProMedica Toledo Hospital). The Ohio State University is making its popular Swift Coding and App Development certificate program available to the public.
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