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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.

Global Insights

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.

U.S. Insights

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.

 

Positive Company-Specific News Negative Company-Specific News
Positive Company-Specific News

  • ALG Health announced that it received NIOSH Surgical N95 approval for three of its Made in the U.S.A. Patriot Masks.
  • DuPont Interconnect Solutions announced its $220M expansion project at the Circleville site.
  • NetJets, which offers fractional ownership of private planes, experienced a threefold increase in new customers last year.
  • American Electric Power reached an agreement to sell its 48MW hydroelectric Racine Plant in Racine to the company’s competitive generation affiliate, to Eagle Creek Renewable Energy.
  • ArcelorMittal reported a quarterly net profit of $1.2B compared with a net loss of $1.9B a year earlier. The company also named its next CEO.
  • Avient reported Q4 2020 financials showing a $330M jump in sales for the quarter, and a $45M jump in operating income.
  • Cardinal Health saw both revenue and profit improvements for the quarter as their bottom line improved 14.5% year-over-year for their fiscal second quarter. Revenues increased by 4.5% over the same period.
  • Nationwide and Annexus Retirement Solutions announced a partnership to bring to market Lifetime Income Builder.
  • Procter & Gamble’s Microban 24 was approved by Health Canada as effective at killing SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Alliance Data has been included in the 2021 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the third consecutive year as one of 380 global companies.
  • Medical Mutual and Lark Health announced Medical Mutual is integrating Lark’s A.I.-based chronic disease prevention and management programs into its population health model.
  • Coterie, technology company that simplifies small business insurance, raised $11.5M in Series A-1 financing.
Negative Company-Specific News

  • O-I Glass reported an 8% decline year-over-year in revenue for 2020 due to 4% lower sales and 7.5% lower production. Company expects 2021 changes to shift bottom line.
  • Diebold Nixford’s Q4 2020 financials showed a 4% drop in net sales. For the full year, the company reported a $500M drop in sales as their services sector slumped.
  • TransDigm Group reported net sales down 24.4%, or $357M, compared to the prior year’s quarter. EBITDA for the company was down 38% during the quarter. The company noted air travel continues to be slow and uneven.
  • Howmet Aerospace is meeting with USW representatives this week over potentially idling an Ohio-based titanium melting operation.
  • GrafTech released financials showing a full-year decline in net sales by nearly $600M, and a net income drop of over $300M.

 

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