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World Coronavirus Dispatch: UK economic recovery runs into trouble

L'Oreal to close stores and cut 400 jobs, China's services sector recovery gathers pace, Gilead's remdesivir shaved five days off recovery time, and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Topics
Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Lockdown

Yuvraj Malik  |  New Delhi 

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Lifting lockdowns is unlikely to lead to a decisive and sustained economic boost as long as Covid-19 infections remain elevated, the International Monetary Fund said. New IMF research shows that while government lockdowns contributed significantly to the global recession, the slowdown was also driven in large part by people continuing to exercise voluntary social distancing. The fund will publish new forecasts on 13 October during its annual meeting with the World Bank.

The findings, using high-frequency mobility data from Google and job openings from Indeed Inc, should warn policy makers against lifting lockdowns amid elevated infections in the hope of jump-starting economic activity, IMF said. Read more here (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-08/lifting-lockdowns-amid-high-infections-won-t-boost-gdp-imf-says)

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 36,527,341

Change Over Yesterday: 360,767

Total Deaths: 1,062,075

Total Recovered: 25,463,037

Nations hit with most cases: US (7,607,250), India (6,906,151), Brazil (5,028,444), Russia (1,253,603) and Colombia (886,179)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

UK recovery runs into trouble as August growth disappoints: GDP rose 2.1 per cent in the month, less than half the pace forecast by economists and down from 6.6 per cent in July. The reading came despite the government stepping up efforts revive the beleaguered hospitality industry. It’s another sign that the nation risks lagging behind its biggest European peers. Output is now languishing almost 10 per cent lower than before the lockdown, compared with around 5 per cent in France. Read more here

L’Oreal to close some stores, cut 400 jobs amid luxury shift: L’Oreal SA plans to close retail locations to restructure its US luxury operations as the company grapples with severe changes to consumer behavior amid the pandemic. The Luxe Division of L’Oreal USA plans to shift investment to growth areas such as e-commerce as part of the reorganization over the next six months. Read more here

Virus forces Europe to confront its creaking internet problems: Europe’s internet infrastructure is riddled with gaps and bottlenecks, exposed over the past seven months by surging hospital admissions to the rise of home working and explosion of e-commerce. Governments are now deciding how to intervene, after predicting the introduction of faster networks could lead to an annual benefit of 113 billion euros ($133 billion). Read more here

China's services sector recovery gathers pace in September: The Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 54.8 from August’s 54.0, the highest reading since June and staying well above the 50-mark that separates monthly growth from contraction. The services sector, which accounts for about 60 per cent of the economy and half of urban jobs, had initially been slower to return to growth than large manufacturers. Read more here

Also Read: China joins WHO-backed vaccine programme COVAX rejected by Trump

North Korea prepares for big military parade despite concern; Kim may speak: North Koreans wearing medical masks have gathered in the capital of Pyongyang, state media reported this week, ahead of what is expected to be a big military parade on Saturday, possibly featuring the country’s latest ballistic missiles. The holiday marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea. Read more here

Gilead's remdesivir shaved five days off Covid-19 recovery time: Final data from Gilead Sciences Inc's antiviral drug remdesivir showed the treatment cut Covid-19 recovery time by five days compared with patients who got a placebo, one day faster than indicated in preliminary data, the company and researchers said on Thursday. Read more here

ALSO READ: India Coronavirus Dispatch: NCDC report notes shortcomings in Delhi model

Specials

Dual Flu-Covid nasal spray vaccine to start trial in Hong Kong

An experimental dual vaccine for both influenza and the new delivered via a nasal spray will enter human studies in Hong Kong next month, a top infectious diseases doctor said. The early-stage clinical trial will enroll about 100 adults, said Yuen Kwok-Yung, chair of infectious diseases in the University of Hong Kong’s department of microbiology. The candidate vaccine is similar to a nasal spray flu immunization already on the market that’s designed to start working where respiratory viruses typically enter the body: the nose. Read more here

Shift to remote working during pandemic led to boom for cloud-computing stocks

The blockbuster $3.4 billion stock market debut of Snowflake Inc. stands out as a prime example of the industry’s success despite a bleak economy. The cloud-data company more than doubled its share price in its first day of trading, on 16 September. The same day, another cloud computing company, JFrog Ltd., raised more than $500 million in its initial public offering. A global exchange-traded fund of cloud computing stocks has risen 11 times more than the broader stock market this year. All the hype has observers making comparisons to the dot-com days, when investors pushed the share prices of profitless internet companies into the stratosphere, only to watch it end horribly. This time there’s also a reasonable-sounding rationale for the exuberance: Today’s global pandemic has increased the importance of cloud companies in a work-from-home world. Read more here

How to launch a pandemic-proof business: An account

TL;DR: Do your homework, be open to new ideas and change, network, find mentors and be fearless. Read it here

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First Published: Fri, October 09 2020. 15:10 IST
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