It’s been another challenging week and we’re continuing to monitor the rapidly changing situation closely. To keep you in the loop, we’re sharing our next weekly update, which includes the good, the bad and the more light-hearted news.

What’s happening?

The good

Global stocks rose this week on signs that Chinese economic activity is starting to recover following the virus-induced shutdown. Official data showed Chinese manufacturing activity returned to growth in March, as businesses slowly started resuming operations.

The recovery may be an early signal that the worst is over for the world’s second-largest economy, where the pandemic began, but the road to a full recovery remains long. However, this latest news does provide some hope of a similar rebound elsewhere once the crisis eases.

A big applause for key workers once again

ITV and the BBC paused programming last night at 8pm to show support for the ‘Clap for Carers’ campaign, as the nation once again gave a round of applause for key workers, particularly NHS staff on the frontline treating patients with coronavirus. We all took part!

The bad

The UK endured its biggest daily increase in deaths this week from the virus, with 684 reported in 24 hours.

The recent devastating death of a 13-year-old boy from the virus shows that it’s “indiscriminate” and should be taken seriously by people of all ages.

The current lockdown, which is unlikely to be lifted any time soon, appears to be blocking the spread of the virus as researchers say each infected patient may now only be passing COVID-19 on to 0.62 others, on average, down from 2.6 each.

These lockdown measures, combined with the government’s promise to ramp up testing after their slow start, will hopefully be “the way through” the pandemic.

 

What happens next?

Everyone’s crystal ball is damaged at the moment, but we have been busy speaking to the various managers within our portfolios and other industry experts to see how things could potentially play out. With a range of opinions and predictions out there, we feel some likely scenarios (worst to best case) are:

Bear case – prolonged recession

  • Virus backdrop:
    The South Korea/China respective models don’t work – lockdown measures are hard to impose and aren’t lifted until a vaccine is available. The drawn out spread means the virus is prevalent throughout the year.
  • Economic backdrop:
    The suspension of lockdown measures sparks a second wave of the virus. The subsequent prolonged economic weakness carries into 2021, resulting in credit stress and high unemployment.

Base case – gradual but accelerating recovery

  • Virus backdrop:
    Lockdown measures are required until May/June but prove to be successful and the subsequent lifting of these measures follows the South Korea/China model.
  • Economic backdrop:
    Weakness continues in the second quarter. Growth picks up by the end of the year which lasts into 2021.

Bull case – quick, vigorous recovery

  • Virus backdrop:
    Better treatment and testing allow for quick lifting of lockdown measures.
  • Economic backdrop:
    The second quarter is the trough for global growth, with a sharp recovery in the second half of the year with limited second round effects.


It’s not all doom and gloom…

Here are some other stories which show a different side to these unprecedented times.

Maths made easy

If you’re struggling to keep on top of your child’s maths lessons, Carol Vorderman is here to help. She has suspended fees for her ‘The Maths Factor’ online resources, with daily lessons and plenty of activities to keep them busy (no parental knowledge required). Read more


You can visit some of the world’s most famous distilleries…from home

If you’re fed up of lockdown and you’ve got time on your hands, why not discover various distilleries around the world and find out what makes them special via a virtual tour. Read more


Dyson turn their attention to ventilators

The company most known for its vacuums, hairdryers, and other home products has joined forces with The Technology Partnership to begin production of ventilators. Read more

A Romsey street has come together to sing happy birthday to a 100-year-old resident

Kath Mapp has lived in Romsey for more than 50 years and on March 31st she celebrated her 100th birthday.

Due to the current situation, she couldn’t celebrate in the normal fashion, so her whole street stood outside their houses to sing and say happy birthday to her. Read more

 

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