Given the regular mauling the White House and its team give to the truth, it is time to summarize the position as it stands today.
- The US stock market, underpinned by the US consumer and the dollar as the world reserve currency is down 3.2% for the year whilst non US markets are down 9.2% (Goldman Sachs). Nothing to write home about but we remain the best economy on the bloc – the go to place to invest.
- The pandemic is not going away. It is growing fast world wide. The daily average of newly identified cases has risen from 80,000 at the end of April to more than 140,000 today. This is no time for cover up or dissembling. The US has recorded far more daily infections than any other developed economy and has been doing so consistently for the last 2 months (John Hopkins).
- The US is doing badly mostly because its leadership has been in denial. There has been no federal plan and the incoherent, stop start, misuse of readily available expertise and a blame culture have only exacerbated the loss of consistent focus.
- Within the US, the virus pathway has begun to rotate away from the North East. It is now approaching pandemic heights in the South and West where the states have often failed to follow the simple social distancing and face mask guidelines of the WHO.
- The best guesstimate is that the pandemic is increasing rapidly. it is possible there will be a seasonal decline but if so this will probably be countered by a follow on increase. The cover up initiated by the US Administration has sought to minimize the position and to stifle testing. We are diagnosing 23000 infections per day but given whole hearted commitment the actual number of new infections is probably nearer to 150,000 per day.
- Despite the Administration, the responses from companies, laboratories, hospitals and sources of funds have been impressive, global and courageous. however any suggestion of a cure all vaccine being available within 12 months is no more than ignorant hope.
- Economically the US rebound has been encouraging. Retail sales have bottomed, mortgage applications have rise significantly. A real 2021 GDP growth rate of nearly 6% could be on the cards.
- Have a good day and start shouting at the TV! James.