Coronavirus Watch: Partial and patchy recovery

The global recovery from the coronavirus recession remains intact but is patchy across economies and may be faltering in some as the lifting of restrictions stalls or goes into reverse. The global rebound is also uneven across sectors, with services remaining the big problem area.

On the positive side, some key economies like the US, China, and the UK saw retail spending continue to gain in September. In addition, our global investment indicator is showing a very strong recovery, implying a pick-up in capital spending in the months ahead.

Less optimistically, the initial rebound in retail sales may be giving way to a fresh dip in some economies. Risks of a double-dip seem especially great in parts of Europe where service sector indicators have dropped back into contractionary territory and mobility indicators have flattened off.

World goods trade looks like it rose around 10% in Q3 – an impressive pick-up. But the upturn is very uneven across economies and industries. Overall services trade remains very depressed, dragged down by sectors like travel and transport. We still expect it to decline by around 20% this year.

Topics: Coronavirus