This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 21 August 2020

By: Taro Chellaram /Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report/Aug 18, 2020

This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 21 August 2020

U.S. - Bringing Down the Hammer

  • Despite indications of lost momentum elsewhere, residential construction activity is picking up steam. A key survey shows confidence among home builders in August tied an all-time high set in 1998 and housing starts figures released this week handily exceeded expectations.
  • Existing home sales rose 24.7% in July as the annualized pace of sales rose above 5.8 million.
  • The leading economic index increased in July, but for the second straight month it did so at a slower pace.
  • The number of people filing for unemployment insurance crested back up over a million in the first week of August.

 

Global - How Quickly Will Japan’s Economy Bounce Back?

  • COVID-19 has wrought a far lower human toll on Japan than in most of Europe or the United States. Japan has a total of close to nine deaths per million people, in comparison to 530 per million in the United States or 587 per million in Italy.
  • Despite a less severe lock down, the Japanese economy has taken a nosedive like many of its developed market peers. Data on Q2 real GDP growth in Japan was released this week and showed a 27.8% annualized contraction.
  • Europe’s August PMI surveys were mixed. The U.K. PMIs firmed further, including the strongest reading for the services PMI since 2013. In contrast the Euro zone services PMI softened, but remained (just) in growth territory.



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