Summary

  • One year ago – March 11, 2020, the WHO officially declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, and the world changed.
  • Within 48 hours, travel was suspended in different parts of the world, professional sports leagues shut down, and the US declared a national state of emergency.
  • Schools, public spaces and businesses would close shortly afterwards, as lockdowns became the norm around the world.
  • These initial lockdowns hit economies hard, but the latest round appear to be having a comparably modest effect on activity.
  • A likely significant factor in this surprising strength has been government fiscal aid worldwide.
  • Yet it is not sustainable for governments to take a substantial share of their economies onto their balance sheet forever.
  • Projections now suggest more than half of the world’s population will be inoculated fairly soon.
  • The combination of lower infection numbers and economic rebounds means the next 12 months appear significantly better than the last 12.
  • There is still considerable lost ground to recover, and policymakers are likely to continue to err on the side of caution until this is well behind us.
David Onyett-Jeffries
Vice President, Multi Asset Class Solutions
Guardian Capital LP (GCLP)
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