COVID-19 Plateaus

Published April 27, 2020

COVID-19 cases and fatalities continued to plateau. For the week ending 4/24:

  • The W/W growth in cases fell from 31% for the week ending 4/17 to 27% for the week ending 4/24.
  • The W/W growth in fatalities fell from 39% to 38% over the same period.
  • The countries with the fastest growth in cases last week were:
    • Singapore – 139%
    • Brazil – 52%
    • Canada – 38%
    • Japan – 34%
    • Turkey – 34%
    • UK – 34%
    • USA – 31%
  • The countries with the highest growth in fatalities were:
    • South Korea – 115%
    • Canada – 75%
    • Japan – 73%
    • Brazil – 59%
    • Turkey – 47%
    • USA – 45%
    • Germany -34%
    • UK – 32%
  • The countries with the highest death rates are:
    • Belgium – 15%
    • UK and France – 14%
    • Italy – 13%
    • Netherlands – 12%
    • Spain – 10%
    • Brazil – 7%
    • USA – 6%
  • The average fatality rate is 7%, 28% have recovered and 65% of cases remain active.
  • There was 38% W/W growth in recoveries, similar to fatalities.
  • The average deaths per 1M in population was 25.3 worldwide. The countries listed here with the highest ratio of deaths per 1M in population were as follows and clearly European countries have been impacted most in terms of deaths as a percentage of their population.
    • Belgium - 576
    • Spain – 482
    • Italy – 430
    • France – 341
    • UK - 287
    • Netherlands – 250
    • Switzerland – 182
    • USA – 157
    • Portugal - 84
    • Germany – 67
  • The countries with the lowest deaths per 1M in population were primarily in Asia:
    • Thailand – 1
    • Hong Kong - 1
    • Singapore – 2
    • China – 3
    • Japan – 3
    • Malaysia – 3
    • Australia – 3
    • South Korea – 5
  • Testing hasn’t always correlated with low death rates with many countries with a lot of tests also having high fatality rates. Of course, some countries with a lot of testing have low death rates which should be a major reason why. This could also be a result of the virus arriving later in their country than in other countries. Countries the highest testing rates include Portugal, Italy and Switzerland while those with the lowest include Japan, Brazil, Thailand and Malaysia.
  • The focus has shifted to re-opening each countries economies, when and how to initiate this. After a tug of war, President acknowledged it is up the Governors of each state. Trump did pass on that he thought social distancing practices should stay in place into at least early summer.
  • The Gilead drug Remdesivir was expected to be a leading candidate as a vaccine, for COVID-19 but disappointed in its first major trial -

Daily COVID-19 Related Cases and Deaths

Source: Worldometers

USA Daily COVID-19 Related Cases and Deaths

Source: Worldometers

COVID-19 Cases, Deaths and Recovery and Testing Rates for Select Countries

Source: Worldometers, compiled by DSCC
  • In worldwide commodity news:
    • Oil prices remained highly volatile and May contracts actually went negative. This can happen due to the cost of storing unneeded oil.
  • US economic data continued to show weakness as expected:
    • Weekly initial jobless claims remained at elevated levels at 4.427M which was 1.6% below the consensus for 4.5M. Over 26M jobs have been lost over the past 5 weeks, equivalent to 16% of the work force. The unemployment rate is now estimated at ~18% with continuing claims at 16M.
    • US durable goods orders fell 14.4% in March, the second fastest drop since 1992. Most of the data was better than expected as most of the decline from the transportation sector where there was a sharp drop in commercial aircraft and motor vehicle sales. Excluding transportation, new orders only fell 0.2% vs. a consensus of -6.5%.
    • Housing remained weak with new single family home sales falling 15.4% in March, the largest monthly decline in 2013. Existing home sales fell 8.5% in March, the largest monthly decline since 2016.
    • First Trust offered some interesting weekly data which shows dramatic reductions in:
      • Movie tickets
      • Hotel occupancy
      • Hotel revenues per room
      • TSA checkpoint data
      • Gas supply
      • Etc.

Weekly Initial Jobless Claims

First Trust’s US Weekly Data

The US did expand its stimulus efforts again, this was the 4th Phase. In this phase, the US agreed to a $484 billion relief package with:

  • $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program for small business adding to the initial $349B that ran out on April 16th. Bankers say this next round is likely already gone as well. More than 1.7 million loans were approved in the first round most of them large but trending toward smaller sizes. The average loan size was $240K as of April 13th and fell to $206K on April 16th.
  • $60 billion for SBA disaster assistance loans and grants;
  • $75 billion in grants to hospitals dealing with a flood of patients;
  • $25 billion to bolster coronavirus testing;

Another relief/stimulus bill is already under way which could add another $700 billion for states and municipalities. Otherwise, there may be a wave of bankruptcies in states which Senate Majority Leader McConnel said wouldn’t be a bad thing. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail.

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Written by

Ross Young