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Coronavirus: NI economy 'declining at a much slower rate' – BBC News

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Economic output in Northern Ireland continued to decline in June but at a much slower rate, an Ulster Bank survey has suggested.

The bank conducts a monthly survey of a representative sample of about 200 firms.

In April and May the survey had its worst ever results as lockdown forced many businesses to temporarily close.

The June survey suggested manufacturing returned to growth while other sectors saw less dramatic falls in output.

Ulster Bank chief economist Richard Ramsey said there were signs of an improving trend as the lockdown eases.

“April, the first full month of lockdown, marked the all-time low with rates of decline in output easing in May,” he said.

“A loosening in the lockdown restrictions in June has seen this trend continue. Indeed, last month was the first time in eight months that any sector returned to growth.”

Every month, the bank asks businesses about things such as new orders, exports and staffing.

This is used to create a numerical index with readings of more than 50 indicating expansion and under 50 indicating contraction.

In April, the headline seasonally-adjusted business activity index was just 8.3, the May figure was 18.9 while the June figure was 42.6.

Some analysts suggest that the reliability of these types of surveys have been impacted by the extreme economic conditions caused by the pandemic.

The survey respondents are supposed to reflect how business conditions have changed compared to the previous month.

As parts of the economy reopen this should show strongly positive results as sectors like non-essential retail go from no activity to some activity.

However results which point to continuing declines in activity, even after reopenings, suggest that some respondents are instead making a comparison with pre-pandemic levels of business activity.

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Virus Hit to Sweden's Economy Seen Among Least Bad in Europe – BNN

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(Bloomberg) —

Data this week could confirm how Sweden’s contentious decision to avoid a full lockdown at the start of the coronavirus pandemic has spared its economy from the worst of the fallout.

On Wednesday, Sweden will publish a keenly anticipated flash indicator for second-quarter GDP, and economists surveyed by Bloomberg are expecting a 7% contraction, according to median estimates.

While that would mark an unprecedented drop for the Nordic region’s biggest economy, it’s considerably less than the recent hits suffered in the U.S. and the 19-member euro area.

“The Swedish economy has not been unscathed, despite its light-touch lockdown, but we think that the quarterly drop in GDP in the second quarter is likely to have been about one-third of that seen in the euro-zone,“ said David Oxley, an economist at Capital Economics, in a note to clients.

But the strategy has also resulted in Sweden having one of the highest death rates in the world, at 56.4 per 100,000, and it’s unclear whether the economy will fare much better than in neighboring Denmark and Norway, which initially imposed strict lockdowns and have seen substantially lower fatalities.

“We do not know how the virus strategy will affect the economies in the long run,” said Nordea economist Torbjorn Isaksson in emailed comments. “Our Nordic neighbors locked down but may be able to open up and normalize faster.”

What economists are saying…

  • Nordea expects a “painful” drop in GDP by 8.5% q/q and 8% y/y in 2Q, in line with the Riksbank’s view
  • Swedbank foresees a 2Q GDP contraction of 7.5% q/q and 7.0% y/y, making it “the biggest GDP drop in memory”
  • SEB expects a GDP drop of 8.0% q/q and 7.7% y/y, saying that “GDP is most likely start to recover in 3Q, though strength of the upturn remains uncertain.”
  • Danske Bank economists see Swedish GDP falling 7.1% y/y and -6.3% q/q
  • Capital Economics expects GDP to drop 4% q/q and 3.7 y/y, which would be “about half as big as that of the Riksbank and other forecasters.” They also add that the economy has “still faced a deep crunch by normal standards.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Philippine economy fears as coronavirus curbs reintroduced – The Journal Pioneer

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By Neil Jerome Morales and Karen Lema

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines stock market tumbled on Monday after the government reimposed coronavirus lockdown measures in and around Manila in response to fresh outbreaks, dashing hopes of a swifter economic recovery.

The restrictions, due to take effect from Tuesday, are being reinstated after a group of doctors and nurses warned that the healthcare system could collapse as a result of surging COVID-19 cases.

“It’s a bitter but necessary pill given the plight of our medical frontliners,” said Francis Lim, president of the Management Association of the Philippines. “We hope the government will deep dive into our COVID-19 strategy and find more effective ways to execute it.”

The Philippine economy had been one of Asia’s fastest growing before the pandemic but is now on the brink of recession. The main stock index .PSI> fell as much as 3.9% on Monday, its lowest in more than two months.

Quarterly growth data is due on Thursday and economists expect a deeper contraction compared with the 0.2% contraction decline in the first quarter as the pandemic-induced lockdown shuttered businesses and sapped domestic consumption, a main driver of growth.

“We reiterate that the Philippines is indeed headed into a severe crash landing with the probability of the economy returning to its former glory any time soon now declining by the day,” said Nicholas Mapa, economist at ING bank.

The country recorded a single-day record of 5,032 new infections on Sunday, taking total confirmed cases of COVID-19 to around 103,000.

Case numbers have grown exponentially since authorities relaxed a previous lockdown in June and the Philippines is now close to overtaking Indonesia as the country with the highest number of infections in Southeast Asia.

The government announced late on Sunday it was placing metro Manila and nearby provinces such as Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan under so-called “Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine” for two weeks from Tuesday.

Public transport will be barred, working from home will be instituted where possible, and only one person per household allowed out for essential goods.

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Karen Lema; editing by Jane Wardell)

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Philippine economy fears as coronavirus curbs reintroduced – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Neil Jerome Morales and Karen Lema

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines stock market tumbled on Monday after the government reimposed coronavirus lockdown measures in and around Manila in response to fresh outbreaks, dashing hopes of a swifter economic recovery.

The restrictions, due to take effect from Tuesday, are being reinstated after a group of doctors and nurses warned that the healthcare system could collapse as a result of surging COVID-19 cases.

“It’s a bitter but necessary pill given the plight of our medical frontliners,” said Francis Lim, president of the Management Association of the Philippines. “We hope the government will deep dive into our COVID-19 strategy and find more effective ways to execute it.”

The Philippine economy had been one of Asia’s fastest growing before the pandemic but is now on the brink of recession. The main stock index .PSI> fell as much as 3.9% on Monday, its lowest in more than two months.

Quarterly growth data is due on Thursday and economists expect a deeper contraction compared with the 0.2% contraction decline in the first quarter as the pandemic-induced lockdown shuttered businesses and sapped domestic consumption, a main driver of growth.

“We reiterate that the Philippines is indeed headed into a severe crash landing with the probability of the economy returning to its former glory any time soon now declining by the day,” said Nicholas Mapa, economist at ING bank.

The country recorded a single-day record of 5,032 new infections on Sunday, taking total confirmed cases of COVID-19 to around 103,000.

Case numbers have grown exponentially since authorities relaxed a previous lockdown in June and the Philippines is now close to overtaking Indonesia as the country with the highest number of infections in Southeast Asia.

The government announced late on Sunday it was placing metro Manila and nearby provinces such as Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan under so-called “Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine” for two weeks from Tuesday.

Public transport will be barred, working from home will be instituted where possible, and only one person per household allowed out for essential goods.

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Karen Lema; editing by Jane Wardell)

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