Chart of the Week : Mobility in DM countries in the time of COVID-19 (Update: Nov. 17) Chart of the Week : Mobility in DM countries in the time of COVID-19 (Update: Nov. 17) Chart of the Week : Mobility in DM countries in the time of COVID-19 (Update: Nov. 17)

Chart of the Week : Mobility in DM countries in the time of COVID-19 (Update: Nov. 17)

Christopher Dembik

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.

As Europe has closed doors for the second time this year, we look once again at Google Community Mobility Trends data to assess the impact of the lockdown. The below chart shows you the trend in terms of visits and length of stay in the retail and recreation sector, one of the most affected sectors by the pandemic. The data covers the main DM countries and refers to the situation as it was two to three days ago. This lag corresponds to the time needed to collect data.

Without much surprise, the lockdown is less strict than that of Spring, but it is still impacting quite substantially some countries more than others. So far, the biggest drop in activity has happened in France which has enacted a rather strict lockdown from October 30 that is likely to go beyond the initial deadline of December 1. Last week, France’s Prime Minister warned in a televised speech that significant restrictions could subsist at least until the Christmas holidays. We expect that other Europeans countries will likely follow the same path and will refrain from committing the same mistakes than in Q3 when reopening the economies. In our view, a degree of restrictions, that is likely to evolve depending on the evolution of the pandemic, will be maintained for the coming months, perhaps until next Spring.

In the case of France, the visits to retail and recreation stores are down 55% compared to the baseline versus minus 88% during the harshest lockdown period in past Spring. The decline in transit stations is also very important, at minus 47% and we find similar trends in workplace visitors, with a drop of 31% reflecting strong government’s incentives to promote remote work. We can draw at least two conclusions from the situation prevailing in France. In contrast to the initial reaction to the pandemic, the government has managed to find this time a balance between protecting people's health and protecting the economy. The second lockdown could see the economy plunge 4-5% in Q4 versus a contraction by 13.8% in Q2. In addition, it appears that the level of compliance with social distancing restrictions is quite high among French citizens. A more targeted approach in dealing with the pandemic combined with a high degree of population compliance with the new restrictions has managed in less than to weeks to generate a decrease in the rate of new infections.

Looking at the other European countries in our sample, we also find a decrease in activity, but rather limited compared to that of France. The visits to retail and recreation stores are down 47% in the United Kingdom, 34% in Italy and 31% in Germany. In these three countries, restrictions are less significant than in France. For instance, none of them has introduced an exemption certificate allowing to leave home under very specific circumstances (i.e. medical appointments or commuting to and from work). Finally, at the other end of the spectrum, we have two countries with little restrictions: Japan and the United States. In the case of Japan, the absence of drop in activity is explained by efficient COVID-19 management (the number of new cases as of yesterday is decreasing at 1459) while in the United States, everything suggests that the health situation will worsen rapidly as the country is affected by the second wave. Over the past two days, many states have implemented new restrictions, which are not showing up yet in Google’s mobility data due to the lag associated to data collection. As about thirty one states have recently decided to enact new COVID-19 rules, we should see in the next two or three days a very large drop in activity, notably in the visits to retail and recreation.

Europe’s second lockdown


Start date

End of lockdown


Nov. 2

Nov. 30


Oct. 30

Dec. 1


Oct. 26

Nov. 22


Oct. 26

Not decided yet


Oct. 23

Nov. 19


Nov. 2

Dec. 13

United Kingdom

Nov. 5

Dec. 2

In most cases, some form of restrictions will probably remain after the intended end of the lockdown in order to avoid to create favorable conditions for a third wave of the virus hitting Europe after the Christmas holidays. Therefore, the indicated dates are only indicative.


Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited prepares and distributes information/research produced within the Saxo Bank Group for informational purposes only. In addition to the disclaimer below, if any general advice is provided, such advice does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of trading any financial instrument as trading can result in losses that exceed your initial investment. Please refer to our Analysis Disclaimer, and our Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement. All legal documentation and disclaimers can be found at

The Saxo Bank Group entities each provide execution-only service. Access and use of Saxo News & Research and any Saxo Bank Group website are subject to (i) the Terms of Use; (ii) the full Disclaimer; and (iii) the Risk Warning in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of the website of a member of the Saxo Bank Group.

Saxo News & Research is provided for informational purposes, does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Bank Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. No Saxo Bank Group entity shall be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information on Saxo News & Research.

To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, such content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication.

None of the information contained here constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument, or to make any investments.Saxo Capital Markets does not take into account your personal investment objectives or financial situation and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information nor for any loss arising from any investment made in reliance of this presentation. Any opinions made are subject to change and may be personal to the author. These may not necessarily reflect the opinion of Saxo Capital Markets or its affiliates.

Please read our disclaimers:
- Full Disclaimer (
- Analysis Disclaimer (
- Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited
Suite 1, Level 14, 9 Castlereagh St
Sydney NSW 2000

Contact Saxo

Select region


The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited ABN 32 110 128 286 AFSL 280372 (‘Saxo’ or ‘Saxo Capital Markets’) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saxo Bank A/S, headquartered in Denmark. Please refer to our General Business Terms, Financial Services Guide, Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination to consider whether acquiring or continuing to hold financial products is suitable for you, prior to opening an account and investing in a financial product.

Trading in financial instruments carries various risks, and is not suitable for all investors. Please seek expert advice, and always ensure that you fully understand these risks before trading. Saxo Capital Markets does not provide ‘personal’ financial product advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo Capital Markets does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation. The Target Market Determination should assist you in determining whether any of the products or services we offer are likely to be consistent with your objectives, financial situation and needs.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. AppStore is a service mark of Apple Inc.

The information or the products and services referred to on this website may be accessed worldwide, however is only intended for distribution to and use by recipients located in countries where such use does not constitute a violation of applicable legislation or regulations. Products and Services offered on this website is not intended for residents of the United States and Japan.

Please click here to view our full disclaimer.