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: Fifteen new manufacturing sites – including Procter & Gamble in Lima, Ohio – joined the World Economic Forum’s Global Lighthouse Network as leaders in applying Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to achieve profitable growth without increasing their environmental footprint.
- U.S.: The Federal Reserve is projecting 6.5% real GDP growth in 2021.
- Ohio: Ohio’s unemployment rate for February 2021 was 5.0%. Ohio placed #6 in “Taxpayer Return on Investment (ROI).”
More than 500 million doses of COVID vaccine have been administrated across 132 countries as the biggest vaccination campaign in history continues. The OECD predicts that global GDP will grow by 5.6% in 2021 and continue the recovery with 4% growth in 2022. Fitch Ratings expects global GDP to expand by 6.1% this year, revised up from 5.3% in December 2020 Global Economic Outlook. Canadian Pacific Railway agreed to acquire Kansas City Southern in a transaction valued at about $25B that would create the first freight-rail network linking Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. The combination, which faces a lengthy regulatory review, is a long-term wager on an interconnected North American economy. The Suez Canal could reportedly remain blocked by a grounded container ship for “weeks”, which has raised concerns of a significant distribution to global trade.
The Federal Reserve revised their real GDP growth forecast to 6.5%, up from 4.2% predicted in December as it has seen brightening in the jobs market. Goldman Sachs raised GDP growth expectations to 8% for 2021. Unemployment is now expected to fall to 4.5% by year’s end. Inflation expectations could become ‘self-fulfilling prophecy,’ BMO Capital says.
Worker filings for unemployment benefits fell to 684,000 last week from 781,000 a week earlier. Claims are now at the lowest point since mid-March of last year. They are also below the pre-pandemic high of 695,000, a threshold not crossed for 52 weeks. The latest consumer spending data from Facteus through the week ending March 21 shows impact on spending in the U.S. with a 155% growth compared to 2020, and a 21% growth compared with 2019 growth in spending occurred in the retail segment, where most stores saw a greater than 50% growth compared with 2019 figures. The U.S. corporate bankruptcy tally grew by 31 in early March after February registered 34 for the total month. So far in 2021, the bankruptcy tally sits at 112 according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, trailing figures from a year ago when 129 bankruptcies had occurred.
New Jersey will likely pause its reopening plans as COVID-19 cases begin to rise again, Gov. Murphy said. President Biden’s administration is aggressively pursuing transportation electrification not just because of its potential to curb greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change, but also to prevent China from cornering a bourgeoning $23T market in carbon-reducing technologies. The U.S. government is working to help American miners and battery makers expand into Canada, part of a strategy to boost regional production of minerals used to make electric vehicles and counter Chinese dominance. LG Chem and rival SK Innovation continue a long-running legal dispute over intellectual property and access to the growing U.S. electric vehicle market.
The number of U.S. air passengers screened topped 1.5M for the first time since March 2020, as air travel continues to rebound. Airlines and other tourism-related businesses are pushing The White House to create a plan to boost travel and eliminate restrictions. More than two dozen groups have made their request to allow vaccinated individuals to be exempt from testing requirements and formalize a CDC statement on the matter. Amid a global shortage of semiconductors Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger committed to spending billions to expand.
Ohio Employment & Economic Insights
Ohio’s unemployment rate for February 2021 was 5.0%. Ohio’s annualized GDP growth rate was 5.0% for 2020Q4 and -4.0% for the whole year. Ohio is ranked #6 in U.S. News best states for opportunity rankings and #1 in affordability. Ohio ranked as the sixth-best state in the nation in taxpayer return on investment, according to a WalletHub study on the Best & Worst Taxpayer Return on Investment in 2021.
One out of every four Ohioans has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Wednesday this week, according to the latest data from the Ohio Department of Health. Over 70% of people aged 70-74 have received at least one dose, the highest of any age cohort. Governor DeWine also announced this week that unfilled vaccine appointments will now be open to everyone aged 16 or older, stating that it was not a change in policy but an “exception” that allows providers to administer vaccines that may otherwise expire.
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