Chart of the Week: The “exponential” second wave of COVID-19 in France explained
Head of Macroeconomic Research
Summary: Our 'Macro Chartmania' series collects Macrobond data and focuses on a single chart chosen for its relevance.
Click here to download this week's full edition of Macro Chartmania.
In today’s edition, we have done some data crunching about COVID-19 numbers in France in order to better understand the risk of second wave and its potential impact on the economy. France is one of the European countries that has been in the spotlight recently due to the strong increase in new COVID-19 cases. In the space of one week, the official daily count of new cases has almost doubled to reach 5,413 and the daily number of new identified clusters has also almost doubled to 40 (as of yesterday). The sharp increase is also confirmed if we look at the 7-day moving average. The number of new cases is at 4,932 versus 3,211 one week ago. Health authorities are now talking about “exponential” second wave of the virus and new social distancing measures have been implemented, such as mandatory mask-wearing in all public spaces (indoors and outdoors) in the biggest cities and compulsory mask-wearing in workplace everywhere in France, as of Sept. 1 (with some exceptions to the rule).
However, contrary to the situation that prevailed in late March/April, the number of fatalities is almost close to zero (13 fatalities as of August 29 vs around 1,000 at the height of the crisis) and new hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) entries are still very limited. At the height of the crisis, the number of patients in intensive care was above 7,000 versus less than 400 nowadays. To some extent, the situation is a little incongruous: we are in the midst of a massive pandemic but hospitals are basically empty. Let’s dig into data. The surge in new cases, which is considered as “exponential”, is certainly partially the result of increased testing. On a weekly basis, the government is currently running about 800,000 tests and wants to reach the threshold of 1,000,000 per week shortly. Another explanation is that young adults, which represent a growing number of new cases but are more resilient than older people, are less vigilant and more reluctant to strictly respect social distancing measures, thus facilitating the spread of the virus. Despite the surge in the number of new cases, the pandemic seems to be under control for the moment. However, we are not out of the woods yet. It is unclear whether the health system will have the capacity to simultaneously deal with COVID-19 and flu this fall if the number of hospital and intensive care unit entries would sharply rise.
Latest Market Insights
Quarterly Outlook Q3 2022: The Runaway Train
- Central banks' attempts to kill inflation is a paradigm shift, which could end in a deep recession.
Tangible assets and profitable growth are the winnersWith US equities officially in a bear market, the big question is where and when is the bottom in the current drawdown?
Understanding the lack of investment appetite among oil majorsThe everything rally seen in recent quarters has become more uneven, as its strength is driven by commodities in short supply.
The pressure is on as the wind leaves the sailsWith cryptocurrencies in sharp decline, are we entering a crypto winter or is the bear market a healthy clean-up of the crypto space?
Why the Fed can never catch up and what turns the US dollar lower?Many other central banks are set to eventually outpace the Fed in hiking rates, taking their real interest rates to levels higher than the Fed will achieve.
Bank of Japan: Swimming against the tideThe Japanese economy has gone from the age of deflation to rapidly rising prices in no time, leaving the Bank of Japan in a pickle.
Green transformation detour and bear market hibernationWith the impending risk of global econonomic derailment, we share the five things investors need to consider in this new half year.
Crisis redux for the eurozone?Whether there's going to be a recession in Europe or not, the path towards a stable economy will be agonizing.
Technical Outlook: Gold, Oil and a remarkable multi-decade perspective on EquitiesThe Nasdaq bubble pattern, USDJPY resistance, crude oil uptrend losing steam and the technical outlook for USD.
China: the train of new development paradigm left the station two years agoChina is transiting to a new development paradigm, as they are hit by deteriorating terms of trade, a slower global economy and an uncertain future while continuing attempts to contain the pandemic.