(Bloomberg) — Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Covid-19 vaccine may not be authorized for use until March, weeks later than U.S. officials have suggested. The number of hospitalized patients in the U.S. was roughly flat this week, and probably will begin declining for the first time since September.The U.K. reported the most deaths in one day since the pandemic began. Germany agreed on stricter rules for travelers arriving from high-risk nations to curb the spread of more transmissible Covid-19 strains. Turkey granted emergency approval to the vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech Ltd. of China.Japan expanded its state of emergency beyond the Tokyo region, encompassing an area that accounts for more than half of its economy. The worsening outbreak is casting doubt on the fate of the postponed Olympics, which are set to be held in the nation’s capital in less than 200 days.Key Developments:Global Tracker: Cases top 91 million; deaths surpass 1.96 millionVaccine Tracker: More than 30.5 million shots given worldwideU.S. vaccine shift stirs fresh unease as 128 million join lineU.K. promises to crack down on people flouting lockdown rulesVisitors to U.S. will require proof of a negative Covid-19 testHow Covid-19 has turned the spotlight back on obesitySubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.Mozambique Closes Bars, Casinos (3:10 p.m. NY)Mozambique imposed stricter restrictions to curb a second wave of the coronavirus after the December holidays. President Filipe Nyusi closed bars, casinos and beaches as the daily tally of new confirmed cases surged to a record 730, bringing the cumulative total to 23,726. Alcohol sales will also be restricted as coronavirus patients fill 80% of private hospital bed-spaces and half of those run by the government.Portugal Tightens Curbs, Keeps Schools Open (3:06 p.m. NY)The Portuguese government tightened restrictions while keeping all schools open. Shops will have to close with several exceptions including supermarkets and other food stores, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said in Lisbon on Wednesday.From Friday, people will have a duty to stay at home and remote working will be mandatory when possible. Those measures may have to be in place for a month, he said.In March, the government’s confinement measures included closing schools. Portugal on Wednesday reported the biggest daily increase in confirmed virus cases since the start of the outbreak. There were 10,556 new cases in a day, more than the previous record of 10,176 announced on Friday.J&J Sees Decision on Vaccine Clearance in March (1:44 p.m. NY)Johnson & Johnson’s highly anticipated single-dose Covid-19 vaccine may not be authorized for use until March, weeks later than U.S. officials have suggested.Operation Warp Speed officials have said they believe that the shot could receive emergency clearance from U.S. regulators as soon as the middle of next month. But that timeline may be aggressive, based on the drugmaker’s expectations for when it will have reliable data in hand demonstrating the one-shot vaccine’s efficacy.J&J will first have its chance to analyze late-stage data in the last week of January or the first week of February, Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels said Tuesday in an interview. From that point, the company will need one to two weeks to analyze the data and prepare documents for regulators in the U.S. and elsewhere, he said.“We hope and trust that somewhere in March, we may get that approval,” Stoffels said.U.S. Hospitalizations Near First Decline in Months (1:16 p.m. NY)The number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients was roughly flat in the U.S. this week, and likely will begin declining for the first time since September.The numbers are now dropping compared with a week earlier in both the Northeast and Midwest, according to the Covid Tracking Project. In the West, they were up 0.8%, the least since Oct. 1 on a percentage basis. The South has the most alarming momentum, with an increase of 4.2% from seven days earlier.The most recent pandemic wave has packed medical facilities, which are desperate for a reprieve. Hospitals across the country are currently caring for more than 130,000 Covid patients, according to Tracking Project data, more than double the load at any earlier point.Outbreaks Not Driven by In-Person Classes, CDC Says (1:13 p.m. NY)The return to in-person classes in nearly two-thirds of the U.S. hasn’t led to a rash of community outbreaks, federal scientists said in a study of 2.87 million cases among those under age 24.Disease rates in counties where in-person learning is available for school-age children and adolescents is similar to areas where classes are entirely online, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It concludes schools should be the last to close, and the first to reopen.NBA Postpones Seventh Game of the Season (12:30 p.m. NY)The National Basketball Association is struggling to keep its games on schedule as Covid-19 contact tracing forces more players to the sideline, leaving teams without enough players on their rosters.The league postponed its seventh game of the season, which started shortly before Christmas, with Wednesday’s matchup between the Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns called off.French Vaccine Skepticism Wanes (12:30 p.m. NY)French citizens are increasingly willing to get a Covid-19 shot, as the alarming spread of the coronavirus overcomes their skepticism of the vaccines.The share of the population that plans to get vaccinated has increased to 47%, up 9 points from a week earlier, according to an Elabe survey on Wednesday. While vaccine resistance is a “French specificity,” acceptance of the Covid shot is growing, Prime Minister Jean Castex said in response to Senate questions.Turkey Approves Sinovac Vaccine (12:09 p.m. NY)Turkey has granted emergency approval to the vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech Ltd. of China.Safety tests have been completed and the vaccine is “sufficiently safe,” said Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, who became the first person to be officially inoculated in the country. He urged Turkish citizens to get the shots.Turkey has received 3 million doses of CoronaVac, the official name of Sinovac’s vaccine, and expects to receive 10 million new doses over the next two weeks. In all, Turkey has contracted to buy 50 million doses from Sinovac. Chinese-developed vaccines have faced skepticism over a lack of safety and efficacy transparency.On Dec. 24, Turkey reported a 91.25% efficacy rate for CoronaVac in a trial involving thousands of volunteers. That’s a significantly higher level than findings in Brazil and Indonesia. The lower efficacy ratios in Brazil were due to trial participants being medical workers facing a high risk of contracting Covid-19, Sinovac said on Wednesday.Denmark Set to Expand Restrictions (11:14 a.m. NY)Denmark’s government will extend the country’s near-total lockdown until Feb. 7 amid concerns that the more infectious British variant of Covid-19 may take hold in the Nordic country, according to local media.The current restrictions, which include the shutting of restaurants, bars and non-essential shops, as well as schools, apply until Jan. 17. An announcement is expected after an afternoon meeting between the government and party leaders, TV2 and other media reported on Wednesday, citing sources close to the decision-making process.U.K. Has Most Deaths Since Pandemic Began (11 a.m. NY)The U.K. reported a further 1,564 deaths within 28 days of a positive test on Wednesday, the most since the pandemic began, as England enters week two of its third coronavirus lockdown.It comes as the country’s hospitals are filling up with patients suffering from the disease, and amid growing concerns that its lockdown may not be strict enough to control the spread of the new strain of the virus.On Wednesday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there are early signs the current measures are working but did not rule out tougher restrictions.Two More U.K. Strains in NYC (10:46 a.m. NY)Two new Covid-19 cases with the U.K. variant were found in New York City, bringing the state’s total to 12, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a briefing Wednesday.The city reported 279 new hospitalizations with Covid-19 symptoms, above the 200 public threshold, with hospital use in the city running at 4.62 persons per 100,000 in the population. The seven-day average positivity rate reached 8.89%, exceeding the public-health standard of 5%.Meanwhile, de Blasio said the city was on track to reach its goal of vaccinating 1 million New Yorkers by the end of the month. He said the city is talking to the New York Yankees to add Yankee Stadium to the city’s growing list of vaccine distribution sites, a day after the New York Mets offered Citi Field as a venue.The city has administered more than 250,000 shots, de Blasio said. Eligibility was expanded this week to age 65 and older. The mayor said he expected immuno-compromised individuals will be eligible soon.“The vast majority of appointments have already been booked. The key thing here is we need more vaccine,” he said.France Says Earlier Curfew Is Working (9:39 a.m. NY)French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said that bringing forward the curfew to 6 p.m. from 8 p.m. in certain parts of the country has been effective against the spread of the virus.Where the earlier curfew is in place, “the growth dynamic of the virus isn’t as speedy as in other areas,” he told reporters in Paris following a weekly cabinet meeting.Astra to Boost Vaccine Deliveries for U.K. Effort (9:17 a.m. NY)AstraZeneca pledged to deliver 2 million doses a week of its coronavirus vaccine for the U.K. before mid-February as it ramps up production to help fuel the country’s immunization campaign.“It does need to become a national priority to ensure that we have the right capacity and capability for vaccine manufacturing onshore here,” Tom Keith-Roach, president of Astra’s U.K. operations, said at a hearing at the House of Commons.Switzerland to Close Shops (9:10 a.m. NY)Switzerland will close shops and toughen social distancing restrictions in a bid to prevent a surge of a faster-spreading strain that has already swamped U.K. hospitals.Non-essential shops will be closed from Jan. 18 until the end of February. Restaurants and fitness centers will also have to stay shut until then, and private gatherings will be restricted to five people, according to the government on Wednesday.N.J. to Expand Vaccine Eligibility (8:39 a.m. NY)New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said he was “gratified to hear” that the CDC recommended that states expand eligibility to seniors. The 65-and-over population will be eligible “effective almost immediately, in the next day or two,” Murphy said Wednesday in a CNBC interview.The state has administered 243,734 doses, according to the latest data. That’s about 37% of the vaccines distributed to New Jersey. The state so far has limited vaccines to health-care workers, long-term care residents and first responders.Scotland Toughens Lockdown Restrictions (8:15 a.m. NY)Scotland’s 5.5 million people, already subject to nationwide lockdown rules, will from Saturday face a series of additional restrictions intended to curb the spread of the virus, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.The country’s devolved government, which is responsible for health, is imposing the extra restrictions in areas ranging from click-and-collect shopping to takeaways and the consumption of alcohol outdoors in an effort to limit social interactions, Sturgeon told lawmakers in Edinburgh on Wednesday.More Countries Find Patients With U.K. Variant (7:45 a.m. NY)The Philippines said it detected the Covid-19 variant first reported in the U.K in the samples of a male citizen who arrived from the United Arab Emirates on Jan. 7 via an Emirates flight.Hungary, meantime, registered the first three cases of the strain, Chief Medical Officer Cecilia Muller said at a briefing on Wednesday. The mutated virus is considered much more transmissible than earlier strains.Putin Expands Vaccinations (7:45 a.m. NY)Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his government to expand vaccination against Covid-19 to all adults starting next week, lifting the last remaining restrictions on who could get the shots. The inoculation campaign Putin kicked off last month had initially been limited to medical workers and other groups seen as especially in need, before expanding amid reports of limited demand.The state-run fund behind Russia’s main Sputnik V vaccine said on Jan. 10 that more than 1.5 million people had already gotten at least one shot of the two-injection regimen. A total of 2.1 million doses will be produced for public use by the end of January, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova told Putin Wednesday.African Union Secures Vaccine Doses (7:10 a.m. NY)The African Union secured almost 300 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for the continent, a step toward starting the complex task of inoculating more than 1.2 billion people with limited logistical and financial resources.South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the AU chairman, is expected to give more detail on the vaccines later Wednesday, according to Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, deputy director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The order would be by far the largest on the continent to date.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Most Major Economies Are Shrinking. Not China’s. – The New York Times
The Chinese economy grew 2.3 percent last year, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics announced on Monday in Beijing.
SHANGHAI — As most nations around the world struggle with new lockdowns and layoffs in the face of the surging pandemic, just one major economy has bounced back after bringing the coronavirus mostly under control: China.
The Chinese economy rose 2.3 percent last year, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics announced on Monday in Beijing. By contrast, the United States, Japan and many nations in Europe are expected to have suffered steep falls in economic output.
China’s strength seemed improbable a year ago, when the virus emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. As travel and business ground to nearly a halt, the economy shrank 6.8 percent in the January-March period compared with 2019, the first contraction in nearly half a century.
Since then, the economy has improved steadily, finishing the year with growth of 6.5 percent in the last three months compared to the same period in 2019. While the recovery remains uneven, factories across China are running in overdrive to fill overseas orders and cranes are constantly busy at construction sites — a boom in exports and debt-fueled infrastructure investments that is expected to drive the economy in the coming year.
At stalls in the Wuhan Taiyuan Textile Market in Hubei Province, garment factory managers have been ordering large bolts of cloth to fill domestic and international apparel orders. At Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group in Jiangsu Province, the plants have been running day and night to keep up with demand for new earthmovers and pile drivers. And at Huahong Holding Group, a large exporter in Zhejiang Province of framed prints and oil paintings, profits have doubled.
“This is the only major economy that quickly recovered from the pandemic and could run business normally,” said Zhou Linlin, a Shanghai financier on Huahong’s board. “So all these orders from everywhere are coming to China.”
The stock market in Shanghai was up nearly 1 percent late on Monday. It had already climbed 16 percent over the past year as domestic and foreign investors placed large bets on a continued economic recovery.
The overall resilience of China’s economy, though, masks pockets of weakness.
Jobs abound for blue-collar workers, but have been scarce for recent college graduates with little experience. Service businesses like hotels and restaurants did well late last year in big coastal cities like Beijing and Shanghai, but never fully recovered in inland provinces. Makers of consumer electronics or personal protective equipment have benefited from the pandemic, but exporters to poor countries devastated by disease have not.
Zhang Shaobo, the owner of a Halloween mask factory in Yiwu, received word last March that one of his most consistent export customers in India was sick with the coronavirus. By May, the man was dead. New customers from Mr. Zhang’s main markets in India and South America also stopped coming to China to look at his latest products.
He laid off all but four of his 20 factory workers, and began making preparations to close his shop at Yiwu’s wholesale market. With business so weak, he said, “I am not going to keep renting it.”
China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, acknowledged the economic challenges in a speech published on Friday by a Communist Party journal, Qiushi.
“There are profound adjustments underway to the international economy, technology, culture, security and politics, and the world has entered a period of turbulent change,” Mr. Xi said in the speech, which was delivered in August. “In the coming period, we face an external environment of increased headwinds and counter-currents, and we must prepare to respond to a series of new risks and challenges.”
Those challenges could worsen in the weeks ahead. After considerable success in taming the coronavirus, China has suffered a series of small outbreaks of late. The government has mobilized swiftly, by building hospitals, imposing mass testing and putting at least 28 million people under lockdown.
The authorities are starting to reimpose a wide variety of health checks that are discouraging consumers from spending money. Even before the recent outbreaks, not everyone was prospering. Consumer confidence never fully recovered last year. Chinese families have proved particularly wary of big-ticket expenditures, like home remodeling projects or new furniture.
Growth in retail sales faltered in December, slowing to 4.6 percent from 5 percent the month before. Ning Jizhe, the commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics, attributed this to the renewed spread of the virus, saying that, “this has brought some uncertainty to the economy.”
Lin Jinting, a manual laborer in Wuhan, can usually earn nearly $100 a day carrying heavy loads home for shoppers. Now, many are deferring major purchases, and work is scarce.
“I came here at 8 o’clock this morning and I haven’t had any orders today,” he said on a recent afternoon.
Keeping the virus at bay has been critical to China’s economic success over the past year. While the pandemic ravages other nations, Beijing’s aggressive top-down approach kept the virus from spreading rapidly across the country.
In China, there have been nearly 100,000 total reported cases and fewer than 5,000 deaths, mostly centered in Wuhan; about 150 cases a day have been reported in the current outbreaks. In the United States, there have been over 220,000 cases a day and 3,300 daily deaths.
Mary Wu, a 26-year-old saleswoman in Jiande in southeastern China, was only allowed to leave her apartment once every three days during a lockdown last spring. Local schools closed for her children, aged 4 and 9. But life quickly returned to normal, schools reopened and Ms. Wu and her family began eating out again.
Ms. Wu even sent her elder child to extra classes to make sure that he caught up on any ground he lost. She no longer worries much about the virus.
“We all wear masks,” she said.
With the virus largely under control, Beijing has relied on its old playbook to rev up the economy.
When Wuhan was still under lockdown, the authorities moved to get manufacturing up and running again in other areas. They provided long-haul buses to get workers back from their home villages to factories after Chinese New Year. State-owned banks extended special loans to factories, while many government agencies gave partial refunds of business taxes that had been paid before the pandemic.
Already the world’s largest manufacturer, China widened its lead this year. Despite the trade war and tariffs, American and European companies turned to China parts and goods, when factories elsewhere struggled to meet demand. Factories within China turned to nearby suppliers to replace imports as transoceanic supply lines became less dependable.
The “Made in China” label has been especially popular as people stuck in their homes have redecorated and renovated. At the Xingxing Refrigeration factory in Taizhou, managers can’t hire workers fast enough to keep up with strong demand for freezer chests for people who want to store more food during pandemic lockdowns.
The consumer electronics sector in China is especially strong right now, for white-collar and blue-collar workers alike. When American managers were no longer able to travel to China last spring to oversee tech projects, demand surged for electronics project managers who were already in China.
“Companies were scooping up anyone they could find,” said Anna-Katrina Shedletsky, the chief executive of Instrumental, a remote quality monitoring system used by global brands to track and manage electronics manufacturing.
Beijing also ramped up its infrastructure spending. Every major city in China was already connected with high-speed rail lines, enough to span the continental United States seven times, but new lines were rapidly added last year to smaller cities. New expressways crisscrossed remote western provinces. Construction companies turned on floodlights at many sites so that work could continue around the clock.
Exports and infrastructure fueled much of the growth over the past year. China’s exports grew 18.1 percent in December compared with the same month a year earlier, and were up 21.1 percent in November. Fixed-asset investment in everything from high-speed rail lines to new apartment buildings climbed 2.9 percent last year.
Both are expected to power the economy in 2021.
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences predicted last week that the country’s economy would expand 7.8 percent this year. If it does, it would be China’s strongest performance in nine years.
Liu Yi, Coral Yang and Amber Wang contributed research.
Janet Yellen says US must 'act big' to revive flagging economy – The Guardian
Economic Policy Advisor Provides Analysis of the United States Economy During 2000-2016 and Solutions for Improving Growth in Comprehensive Treatise – GlobeNewswire
ZOETERMEER, Netherlands, Jan. 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Dutch economic policy advisor and international independent consultant Marc Stoffers has long been intrigued by the United States’ economic development. Despite the tools and resources at its disposal, the U.S. continues to suffer losses to market share both domestically and globally and has seen a decline in its overall economic growth. In his new book, “Problems and Possibilities of the US Economy,” Stoffers lays bare the ramifications of this downturn and, employing the Global Innovation Index (GII), identifies areas of opportunity for the U.S. to excel.
Using the GII, Stoffers investigates how the U.S. meets the pillars for Innovation Input and Innovation Output compared to other countries. He finds that the U.S.is a global leader in market sophistication and a top 10 country in knowledge and technology output as well as business sophistication. However, there are other areas where the U.S. is less successful such as institutions and creative output. To make matters worse, the U.S. lags firmly behind in relation to infrastructure and human capital and research.
As Stoffers explains in the text, the U.S.’s struggle to maintain a fierce competitiveness across all pillars has led to decreased market share and resulted in deficits to the balance of payment and the federal budget, inequality within the labor force and wage stagnation and has had a negative impact on employment. Using the GII, Stoffers creates a regression between the scores of several other countries and their gross domestic product (GDP). He then calculates the growth that would result from the U.S. becoming a global leader in every pillar.
By suggesting measures such as advancing the quality of schools, incentivizing students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), increasing sustainable development and nurturing a favorable investment climate, Stoffers demonstrates that there is a clear pathway for the U.S. to regain stability and balance, and decrease inequality between groups in society. Ultimately, through “Problems and Possibilities of the US Economy,” he instills hope that the U.S. can reclaim its position as a top performer in the global economy.
“The U.S. economy can be made healthier by introducing an improvement of skills, a level playing field with foreign competitors and a more robust innovation system,” said Stoffers. “A stronger U.S. can emerge and lead the Western World easier and more efficiently than before.”
About the author
Marc Stoffers graduated from the University of Tillburg with a master’s degree in business econometrics. After completing his military service, he served as a policy advisor for the Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (Centraal Planbureau). Since retiring, he has acted as an independent freelance consultant involved in model building and economic analysis for macroeconomic projects in various international countries. Stoffers currently resides in Zoetermeer, Netherlands.
Xlibris Publishing, an Author Solutions, LLC imprint, is a self-publishing services provider created in 1997 by authors, for authors. By focusing on the needs of creative writers and artists and adopting the latest print-on-demand publishing technology and strategies, we provide expert publishing services with direct and personal access to quality publication in hardcover, trade paperback, custom leather-bound and full-color formats. To date, Xlibris has helped to publish more than 60,000 titles. For more information, visit xlibris.com or call 1-888-795-4274 to receive a free publishing guide.
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