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Coronavirus living briefing

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In this living briefing, we’re looking at how Covid-19 is affecting major aspects of the global economy. You can expect something new every business day and recent updates since your last visit are highlighted for easy skimming.

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Recent updates


Last updated

G20 countries had the steepest drop in trade since the financial crisis. Imports fell 16.7% and exports fell 17.7% in the second quarter. China was the only country in the group see export growth. Trade activity globally has bounced back faster than during the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, but still remains below pre-pandemic levels.

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The US job market

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Last week, 751,000 Americans filed their first unemployment claim. The number of people reported to be receiving regular unemployment benefits was 7.8 million, a decline of 709,000. There are 22.7 million people claiming some kind of unemployment insurance, a decline of 416,000.

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The spread

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In the US has an alphabet soup of federal agencies is brainstorming to get standards in place to make the National Wastewater Surveillance System a fully-operational public health tool, inciting a sewage turf war among the Environmental Protection Agency, CDC, and even the Department of Homeland Security.

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Moderna and Pfizer have already mass producing the two vaccines emphasized in the US’s federal distribution preparedness plans. The US should have access to at least 50 million vaccine doses by the end of 2020. But until the FDA gives the green light, those doses will have to stay in cold storage.

Even after a vaccine candidate clears the hurdle of a phase 3 clinical trial, it could take months for factories to catch up with demand.

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The virus

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A man in Hong Kong was the first confirmed person to be infected twice. The 33-year-old had mild symptoms with his first infection and asymptomatic in his second. At least 24 people have been confirmed to have been infected with the virus twice. One of them died as a result of the second.

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In the US, daily viral testing has been creeping upward, peaking at 1.36 million on Oct. 23.

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US growth

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The US economy grew at a 33.1% annualized rate last quarter, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates. It’s the steepest gain on record. From its peak at the end of 2019, GDP is down 3.48%.

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European economies

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Every EU country except Norway saw retail sales shrink in April compared to 2019. For six countries that as been their only decline during the pandemic: 🇩🇪Germany, 🇪🇪Estonia, the 🇳🇱Netherlands, 🇵🇱Poland, 🇫🇮Finland, 🇷🇸Serbia

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Last updated
  • The NHL held a modified playoff schedule where 24 teams competed in a two-city “bubble” designed to limit the contacts between players and staff and the outside world. In the finals, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Dallas Stars, in Edmonton to win the Stanley Cup.
  • The NBA resumed its 2019-2020 season on July 31 with eight of the league’s 30 teams completing the “regular” season creating a bubble at the Disney-owned Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida. The season ended with zero positive tests and the Los Angeles lakers as league champions following a 16-team tournament.
  • The MLB shortened its season by over 100 games and limited the number of match ups between different teams but didn’t create a bubble. Players and staff from multiple MLB teams tested positive just days into the season. Each series in the 16-team playoffs were held in one of four stadiums. During the final game of the World Series, a player was removed from the game after his test results came back positive for Covid-19, but that didn’t keep him from celebrating, mask-less with his team after winning.
  • The NFL is conducting its 2020 season without a bubble. Players on multiple teams have tested positive for the virus, leading to the postponement of some games. Some teams are allowing fans to watch the games in person at restricted capacities.

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Burger King’s drive-through business was up 28% in the third quarter, but saw overall sales declined 7%.

Many European countries are closing bars, restricting, restaurants, and imposing curfews to combat a resurgence of the virus.

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Last updated

Infected passengers not wearing masks have been implicated in spreading Covid-19 to other passengers. A 17%-full flight with required mask wearing on a large airplane had 13 of its 49 passengers test positive for the virus.

Read more about Airlines →

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