7 Aug 2020 ● 09:10 AM
The slowdown caused by the Pandemic has created a slow down that brings back memories of the past economic slowdowns and a reminder that the economic winter might still be in force. That said we have to look at the current situation in light of the changing dynamics both economic and lockdown. The first chart here is from the US, showing daily case count reports. The jump in cases after the month of May resulted in what some would like to call a second wave but it has started to peter out. This second wave was a mirage effect of the first as it was the result of an attempt to open up the economy by ending the lockdowns. The resulting infections therefore were natural. What we really needed to see was if herd immunity kicks in and we get control of the spread and number of cases. So far that might appear true on this chart. A real second wave would be something that happens if the virus returns to attack again with full force or after mutations that are deadly. We cannot forecast that right now but it will remain an active risk. In the meantime between it is a race between that event and the search for a new vaccine.
The same is not yet true in India where we are attempting to end the lockdown. Partly because our reporting became more aggressive only after our testing became more aggressive. Indian data might lag in rolling over but I think should follow the US after a few weeks.
In the meantime there are few measures of economic activity that show hope. This one might be seasonal but still, agricultural sector seems to being holding its own, and that is a good thing.
Activity across states too continued to come back as goods start moving across highways.
This come back is reflected in the PMI rebounding though it is still below 50 for the month of July. What you want to see here on is a gradual advance back to normal. I wonder to what extent it would also have the seasonal effect of the monsoon before this comes back.