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World Coronavirus Dispatch: WTO sees merchandise trade falling 9.2% in 2020

UK house prices jump most since 2016, German industrial output drops as virus spreads, Czech Republic is top Europe hotspot, and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus Vaccine | Coronavirus Tests | Lockdown

Yuvraj Malik  |  New Delhi 

Covid-19 coronavirus
two-thirds of patients who had a mild-to-moderate case of Covid-19 reported symptoms 60 days after falling ill, when more than a third still felt sick or in a worse condition

Two custodians of the global economy signalled that while the early days of pandemic recovery were stronger than expected in some countries and industries, a return to full health is likely to be longer and bumpier than they first predicted.

The said it expects global merchandise trade to fall by 9.2 per cent this year from 2019, compared with the 12.9 per cent drop projected in April, according to revised forecasts released Tuesday. But the also said it expects global trade growth of 7.2 per cent in 2021, much weaker than the prior outlook for a 21.3 per cent bounce-back.

That outlook jibes with the view of the International Monetary Fund, which will make a “small upward revision” to its 2020 global growth forecast next week and warn that the rebound may take at least a year longer. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 35,814,815

Change Over Yesterday: 346,533

Total Deaths: 1,050,188

Total Recovered: 24,990,919

Nations hit with most cases: US (7,501,817), India (6,757,131), Brazil (4,969,141), Russia (1,242,258) and Colombia (869,808)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

China's experimental Covid-19 vaccine appears safe – study: A Chinese experimental vaccine being developed by the Institute of Medical Biology under the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences was shown to be safe in an early stage clinical trial, researchers said in a paper posted on medRxiv preprint server ahead of peer review. Read more here

UK house prices jump most since 2016 in post-boom: UK house prices rose at their strongest annual pace since 2016 last month as Britons’ changing work patterns and a tax reduction on purchases fanned a resurgence. Average house prices rose 7.3 per cent in September from a year earlier to a record average of 249,870 pounds ($323,000), mortgage lender Halifax said Wednesday. On the month alone, prices gained 1.6 per cent. Read more here

German industrial output unexpectedly drops as virus spreads: German manufacturers unexpectedly cut production, underlining the risks resurgent infections pose for the economic recovery. Industrial output declined 0.2 per cent in August following three consecutive gains. Economists had predicted an increase of 1.5 per cent. The Economy Ministry said the weakness was chiefly driven by a drop in auto manufacturing. Read more here

Norway reveals record withdrawals from its $1.1 yrillion fund: Norway’s government is on track to withdraw a record amount from its sovereign wealth fund this year, and to continue pumping historic amounts of stimulus in 2021. The richest Nordic economy estimates that the structural non-oil fiscal deficit will jump to 3.9 per cent of the fund this year, or 404 billion kroner ($43 billion), compared with 2.9 per cent in 2019. Read more here

Italy’s experimental relief may wean out cash: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is about to embark on the country’s most experimental stimulus of the crisis yet in a bid to wean citizens off cash -- and the tax avoidance that comes with it. His government is working on a measure to refund 10 per cent of payment card transactions, handing back a maximum of 300 euros ($354) per person, in a stimulus that runs until 2022, according to source. Read more here

Czech Republic becomes top Europe hotspot: The country’s 14-day cumulative number of Covid-19 cases per capita is now the highest in the European Union, surpassing Spain, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. While the government has pledged to avoid another full-scale lockdown, the Health Ministry plans to announce more restrictions on Friday. Read more here

Trump halts stimulus talks: President Donald Trump ended talks with Democratic leaders on a new stimulus package, hours after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s strongest call yet for greater spending to avoid damaging the economic recovery. Democrats had most recently pushed a $2.2 trillion package that failed to garner Republican support in the House, while the White House had endorsed $1.6 trillion. Read more here

ALSO READ: India Coronavirus Dispatch: Delhi runs short of space to bury its dead

Also Read: Here are the trump associates who’ve tested positive for Covid-19


Where to invest $10,000 right now

Finding compelling reasons to invest when faced with so many unknowns is a daunting challenge — but one that our quarterly panel of veteran investors lives with every day. These money managers now see opportunities that stretch from cyclical stocks — which benefit when the economy runs hot — to battered European banks and the sovereign debt of China. Before investing, build an emergency savings fund to see you through six months of expenses, if possible. If you’ve accomplished that already, Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst Eric Balchunas suggests ETFs that can serve as good proxies. Read more here

‘My brain’s not as sharp’: Covid woes stalk workers back on job

Covid-19 survivors now have another battle that will outlast the deadly virus: working for a living. Many with persisting symptoms may still be too sick to work full time or in person. They worry about being exposed again; how they’ll squeeze in doctor appointments when they’ve exhausted their time off; how long their bosses will be understanding; if they’ll be able to perform as they did before, and what happens if they can’t. Millions of people could be dealing with medical issues including heart, kidney and lung damage long after the pandemic subsides. With no clear legal or regulatory guidance yet on how accommodating employers will have to be, Covid-19 has created a parallel predicament for businesses that carries numerous risks of litigation. Read more here

Even mild Covid-19 infections can make people sick for months

According to a study published in journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection, two-thirds of patients who had a mild-to-moderate case of Covid-19 reported symptoms 60 days after falling ill, when more than a third still felt sick or in a worse condition than when their coronavirus infection began. Prolonged symptoms were more likely among patients aged 40 to 60 years and those who required hospitalization, according to staff at Tours University Hospital, who followed 150 non-critical patients from March to June. Read more here

Covid has wiped out the economic dreams of a generation in Asia

Asia’s fast-growing economies for decades have offered millions of young people the chance to do better than their parents, a path to upward mobility now at risk as youth unemployment soars in a region home to a majority of the world’s 15- to 24-year-olds. These young people -- just at the start of their working lives -- are losing jobs at a faster rate than older generations because almost half are clustered in the four economic sectors hurt most by the Covid-19 pandemic, including wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, business services and accommodations and food service. Young women and those on the lowest rungs of the job ladder are among the hardest hit, according to a report by the Asian Development Bank and the International Labour Organization that warns of a “generation” being left behind. Read more here

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First Published: Wed, October 07 2020. 16:00 IST