As we adjust to the new normal, we hope you and your family are keeping safe and well. Here’s your next weekly update from Calculis, sharing the good, the bad and the more light-hearted news.

What’s happening?


The good

This week saw the extensive lockdown in the city of Wuhan lifted, with train, road and rail connections re-established.

We also received a welcome boost to world stock markets, following signs of progress against the coronavirus in both Europe and the United States.

Authorities in Italy and Spain have started looking at easing lockdowns, after steady falls in fatality rates. In the United States, the daily number of deaths in New York, the country’s worst-affected area, has also shown signs of steadying.

Glimmer of hope for the UK too

The UK’s top scientist has revealed that the lockdown measures are having an effect, after data highlighted a sharp fall in newly diagnosed cases. However, it is likely to be another week before experts know for sure whether we’re winning the battle.

We were also hit with the news this week of Boris Johnson being admitted to intensive care. It has been reported that he is responding well to treatment and is on the mend. We wish him all the best and a speedy recovery!

 

The bad

A former Bank of England official has warned that unemployment in the UK and the US could come close to the levels reached during the 1930s Great Depression. While government support for companies to furlough workers could help to cushion the blow in the UK, nearly a million people have already successfully applied for universal credit.

If lockdown measures are lifted by late spring, then unemployment will peak quite quickly. However, if the lockdown continues into the summer, then it is plausible that viable businesses will start to run out of cash reserves and loan options, which will see a second wave of large scale job losses, according to a report by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES).

 

Update: What we need to see to achieve market stabilisation
1. Infection rates contained, leading to eased travel restrictions

Progress so far:
– China/South Korea infection rate not re-accelerating
– Infections slowing in Europe
– More widespread shutdowns in the US

Further progress required:
– New Asian wave not escalating
– Clear shutdown exit strategy

2. Policy response –Fiscal stimulus of sufficient size and nature & central bank backstop

Progress so far:
– Stimulus packages still coming thick and fast
– Core bond yields contained

Further progress required:
– European coordinated response
– Yield curve control works on a sustainable basis, all liquidity issues resolve

3. Economic resilience

Progress so far:
– Firms using government furlough schemes

Further progress required:
– Permanent unemployment not rising
– Few SME insolvencies/ loan delinquencies etc.

 

It’s not all doom and gloom…

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

 

Communities coming together 

Approximately 250 community groups have been set up across the UK in the last few weeks to help those in self-isolation or those suffering from coronavirus. The groups are organised by Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK and offer help with shopping, dog walking and picking up prescriptions.

Read more


Campaign launched to host street party in Romsey after coronavirus

A number of Romsey residents have asked Town Centre Manager, Mark Edgerley, to host a street party once the pandemic comes to an end. This comes as a number of events have been cancelled throughout the town and surrounding villages.

Read more


UK bicycle shops and repairers see a surge in business

The bicycle industry has seen a surge in business in recent weeks, particularly for bicycle menders as people get old bikes out of their sheds in a bid to avoid public transport during the outbreak.

Read more

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