COVID-19 update: Still big increases in the US and Europe

Still big increases in US and Europe, more lockdowns, markets plunged yesterday but stabilised overnight. 

The number of new cases rose further yesterday to 13,076 taking the total outside China above 100,000. The daily growth rate was a bit lower though, falling to 15% from around 20% a week ago.

The numbers are still on track for the modelled scenario peak of 250,000 cases outside China. If this holds, we should see a peak in the number of new cases within the next week.

The US

The US is still in the early phase, with an exponential increase, registering 936 new cases yesterday, taking the total to 4,718. This is a daily growth rate of 25%, which implies a doubling in around three days. The US is still following the same path as Italy, with a 10-day lag.

Europe

Italy saw a decline in the number of new cases to 3,233, from around 3,500 in the days before. The daily growth rate is down to 13%. However, we do not know whether this is due to capacity issues on the testing side. The number of deaths continues to rise and the death rate is still very high, at close to 8%, which could suggest there are many undetected cases. It makes sense that the rate of contagion is slowing down in Italy, as we would expect this when there is a significant reduction in human contact and mobility. Italy is still following the path of the Chinese Hubei province (which has a similar sized population).

Germany and France continue to see big increases and new highs in the number of new cases. The growth rate has edged lower in recent days but is still high, around 20-25%, implying a doubling in three to four days. France yesterday declared war on the virus and announced a range of strong measures and punishments for not following regulations. It has banned all non-essential movement and residents must stay at home. Germany also tightened measures to stop contagion, closing most shops and public venues. Spain has the second highest number of infections in Europe after Italy and continues to see growth around 25%.

Scandi countries have seen a clear slowdown in recent days but, in our view, it is likely this is due to a change in testing criteria and not a real improvement. Denmark yesterday said it would increase testing again on the advice of the WHO, which yesterday recommended to 'test, test, test'.

Equity markets plunged again yesterday, despite a wide range of policy measures being taken. S&P 500 finished down 12%. Markets have stabilised a bit overnight and the S&P future is up 3.9%.

Yesterday, we published an updated outlook for the global economy and we now look for a technical global recession lasting a couple of quarters (see The Corona Crisis - A global recession but not for long, 16 March).

 

Read the full report from Danske Bank's research team via this link

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