Charting the Global Economy: Lockdowns Ease Showing Green Shoots
(Bloomberg) -- The global economy is beginning to dust itself off after being flattened by a world health crisis.
Central bankers and government officials have pursued policies to resuscitate economies, travel restrictions are being partially eased in Europe, and cheap borrowing costs are generating homebuying in the U.S.
Here are some of the charts that appeared on Bloomberg this week, offering signs of stabilization an modest improvement in the economic activity throughout the world:
Slowly but not surely, the world economy is emerging from its coronavirus-enforced hibernation. A new set of daily activity gauges from Bloomberg Economics finds almost all of the economies it monitors witnessed a pick-up in activity since late March and early April, although no country is yet approaching its pre-virus levels.
The global jobs slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic is bottoming out, if data from LinkedIn is a guide. The social networking platform says the percentage of its members who joined a new employer stabilized over the past six weeks, after plunging in March. France is showing the sharpest pickup, and Italy -- one of Europe’s hardest-hit nations -- is seeing a “mild improvement.”
Americans hunkered down at home for more than two months and businesses closed in order to help slow the spread of Covid-19. A new real-time gauge of social distancing, however, shows the nation’s economy is beginning to stir to life once again.
Housing is heating up and near record-low mortgage rates are providing plenty of fuel. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index of home-purchase applications, which plunged in March amid pandemic-related lockdowns, is now the highest since the end of January after its biggest six-week gain in 27 years.
Tourist destinations in Europe are opening their borders again, though not everyone is welcome. Cyprus’ decision to blacklist Sweden, which had a laxer response to Covid-19 than most of the continent, triggered accusations of “discrimination” in the Nordic country.
The recovery will require funds and that will be supported by the European Commission unprecedented 750 billion-euro stimulus plan to help struggling economies. Italy and Spain will be the main beneficiaries.
A trans-Tasman travel “bubble” is being planned to allow quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand, after their success in suppressing the virus. Such a move represents a head start in the long process of restoring normality for both nations after weeks of extended lockdown measures.
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