World Coronavirus Dispatch: World economy to shrink 4.5% this yr, says OECD

Russia reported 6,148 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the second straight day when the daily number of cases exceeded 6,000, taking the national tally of infections to 1,103,399. | Photo: Shutterstock
The global economic slump won’t be as sharp as previously feared this year, though the recovery is losing pace and will need support from governments and central banks for some time yet, according to the OECD. The world economy will shrink 4.5 percent this year, less than the 6 percent forecast in June, the Paris-based institution said on Wednesday, upgrading its outlook in response to rebounds in activity since lockdowns ended. There were big revisions for the US and the euro area, as well as China, which is now forecast to grow modestly, the only Group of 20 country with such a prospect. Read more here 

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 3,06,83,828

Change Over Yesterday: 1,70,732

Total Deaths: 9,55,841

Total Recovered: 2,09,21,799

Nations hit with most cases: US (67,64,916), India (53,08,014), Brazil (45,28,240), Russia (10,92,915) and Colombia (7,58,398)


Threat of lethal autumn looms in Europe after Covid reprieve: As vacations and parties fed a late-summer surge of Covid-19 in Europe, there’s been one reassuring constant: a lower death toll. The latest numbers out of the continent’s hardest-hit countries show the relief may only be temporary. The virus has started spreading in older populations again in France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. Read more here 

Banks’ job cull returns with cuts topping 60,000 in 2020: Job losses at banks this year are on course to be the deepest in half a decade. After a pause during lockdown, lenders from Citigroup to HSBC Holdings have restarted cuts, taking gross losses announced this year to a combined 63,785 jobs. That puts the industry on track to exceed the almost 80,000 disclosed last year, the biggest retrenchment since 2015. Read more here 

UK mulls $13,000 fines for people violating self-isolation rules: The UK government will introduce fines of as much as 10,000 pounds ($12,917) for those violating self-isolation rules as part of efforts to contain the latest surge in coronavirus cases. The increase in India’s new infections continued, with 92,605 cases added in the past 24 hours. Read more here 

Rolls-Royce in talks with sovereign wealth funds to raise £2.5 billion: Rolls-Royce is in talks with sovereign wealth funds, including Singapore’s GIC, as part of a plan to raise around £2.5 billion from investors next month, according to FT sources. The UK aero-engine group is working with bankers at Goldman Sachs on the planned equity raise as it looks to become the latest company to tap stock market investors to repair a balance sheet badly damaged by the pandemic. Read more here 

Russia's new Covid cases above 6,000 for second day in a row: Russia reported 6,148 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the second straight day when the daily number of cases exceeded 6,000, taking the national tally of infections to 1,103,399. The country’s coronavirus crisis centre said 79 people had died of the disease in the last 24 hours, bringing the Russian death toll to 19,418. Read more here 


Property funds stay shut amid fears of liquidity crunch

All of the UK’s major commercial property funds suspended trading in March, trapping close to £22 billion of investor money, after the coronavirus-induced halt in economic activity made it difficult to value real estate. Yet while three investment managers — St James’s Place, Columbia Threadneedle and most recently L&G — have announced they will reopen their property funds, most others remain suspended as groups weigh whether they will be able to cope with redemption requests on reopening. Read more here 

How South African companies are battling the pandemic and recession

South African businesses have had to respond to the coronavirus and lockdown restrictions since March. At the same time, the country’s economy is in its longest recession in 28 years, with millions reported to have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Here’s how companies in key industries have coped with the unprecedented crisis. Read here 

The long-read

The 943-dimensional chess of a trustworthy Covid-19 vaccine

Here’s what’s going on: Three vaccine candidates are in large-scale, Phase III randomized clinical trials with tens of thousands of human volunteers. They’re from the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use the genetic material mRNA to induce an immune response; the AstraZeneca vaccine, developed at the University of Oxford, uses the shell of an adenovirus to give people a protein found on the exterior of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (which causes Covid-19), also inducing an immune response. Getting to Phase III in half a year is astonishingly fast for huge drug trials, especially considering nobody even knew about the disease they want to vaccinate against as recently as November of 2019. Read more here 

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