Total Active Cases
The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, as of 4 pm ET on Oct. 23 versus its previous report a day earlier.(https://bit.ly/31Dqz4H) Latest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus Polish President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for coronavirus, authorities said on Saturday, and police used tear gas on several occasions as thousands of people protested in Warsaw against COVID-19 restrictions.
By Erik NorlandPrior to the pandemic, China's official data showed many years of stable growth ranging from 6.2% to 7.5% year on year, rarely missing the consensus estimate by more than 0.1%. That is no longer the case. On October 19, investors learned that China's economy expanded by 4.9% in Q3 2020. Although the number was 0.6% below consensus, it was an improvement on the 3.2% growth in Q2 and -6.8% in Q1. So far this year, overall growth in the world's second largest economy is just 0.7% versus the same three quarters in 2019, about one-tenth its usual pace of expansion.Looking past the headline number reveals several important but easily overlooked trends, some of which are encouraging and others not: * China's industrial sector is booming, expanding at around 8-9% per year (Figure 1). * By contrast, overall growth at only 4.9% YoY in Q3 implies that China's service sector remains stagnant. * Debt levels are soaring. So far in 2020, household debt as a percentage of GDP has risen from 55.8% to 61.4%; non-financial corporate debt has increased from 150.3% to 163.4%, and public sector debt has risen from 38.1% to 44.4%. China's overall level of leverage has risen from 244.3% to 269.2% according to China's National Bureau of Statistics and the People's Bank of China. * China's imports are strong, but exports are weakening.Figure 1: Industrial growth has been 8-9% YoY but overall GDP just +4.9% YoY in Q3 Overall, the GDP numbers, taken in the context of the other data such as the industrially focused Li Keqiang index, indicate that China, like much of the world, is experiencing a K-shaped recovery - where one branch ascends while the other descends. In China, as elsewhere in the world, the ascending branch includes those who can telecommute to work. Additionally, China's industrial sector, perhaps more than anywhere else, is moving upward at about the same pace as before.The descending part of the K includes just about everything else: exports, employees who must show up to work in person, notably in the service sector, and the country's large population of domestic migrant workers. Overall, Q3 GDP paints a picture of a service economy that is not fully back to normal.The debt portion of the picture is also troubling. In 2009, when debt levels were much lower (140% of GDP), China engineered an economic boom by encouraging businesses to invest in capital projects, taking on large amounts of debt in the process. This time around, the reason for the rise in debt is less clear. The People's Bank of China (PBoC) has eased lending standards slightly but has done little in the way of lowering interest rates (Figure 2). Moreover, China's fiscal stimulus is much less robust than elsewhere in the world (Figure 3). One reason why debt could be increasing as a ratio of GDP is because the denominator has stopped expanding rather than the numerator expanding unusually fast. This is to say that, unlike in 2009 during which debt levels soared to ignite growth, debt is now growing at a rather ordinary pace but ratios are expanding because GDP growth has stalled.Figure 2: The PBoC has not eased lending standards or cut rates much since the pandemic began Figure 3: China's fiscal support measures have been modest compared to Europe, Japan and the US Overall, this paints a worrisome picture for the Chinese economy. With the pandemic's resurgence in Europe and North America, there is every reason to think that export demand will remain soft for at least another six months, if not longer. Moreover, China's domestic growth is uneven and has been fueled by rising levels of debt. Yet, global markets don't seem overly concerned. Perhaps this is because commodity prices have shown a strong correlation with China's industrial sector. The Li Keqiang index, which measures rail freight volume, electricity consumption and bank loans, has demonstrated a high correlation with prices of many commodities and currencies over the past 15 years.Figure 4 shows the correlation between the year-on-year change in the Li Keqiang index and the level of various commodity prices one year later. Over the past 15 years, the index has often been a good leading indicator of future price levels of certain commodities including copper, wheat, soy oil, corn, crude oil and to a lesser extent silver, a precious metal with many industrial applications. The index, however, has been less reliable for commodities such as soybeans, soy meal and gold.While there is no guarantee that the Li Keqiang index will remain a meaningful indicator going forward, the rebound in China's industrial growth, for which the index can be seen as a proxy, has coincided with a rebound in many commodity prices over the past six months. As such, the index could be an indicator of whether China's industrial expansion is slowing because of weak demand from end users domestically or internationally. Indeed, international demand for Chinese industrial goods has been supported by the global fiscal and monetary easing, but the willingness of foreign governments to continue running such large fiscal deficits cannot be taken for granted.What is remarkable also about the data in figure 4 is that commodities have had a more positive correlation with the Li Keqiang index than they do with China's official GDP. This could be the result of the index being a more focused measure of China's industrial health, which is more relevant to industrial metals and other commodities than the state of China's services sector.Figure 4: Li Keqiang versus official GDP as one-year forward indictors of commodity price levels The Li Keqiang index, and to an even greater extent official GDP, has also correlated highly with future movements in currencies versus the U.S. dollar. When Chinese growth is strong, non-U.S. dollar currencies often rallied over the next 12 months. When Chinese growth is weak, the U.S. dollar (USD) often reached higher levels over the subsequent year (Figure 5).Figure 5: Stronger growth in China often means stronger FX versus USD over the past 15 years. For the moment, the Chinese currency has been doing well versus the U.S. dollar and most other emerging market currencies. This may reflect China reopening its economy sooner than most other nations as well as the continuing economic distress felt in many countries (Figure 6). That said, the yuan's continued strength may depend on the ability of China to keep growing despite weak external demand, a still impaired domestic services sector, and soaring debt ratios. Moreover, if history is any guide, any slowdown in China's economy could also be bearish for commodity prices and send investors fleeing to the U.S. dollar. By contrast, continued economic growth in China might boost commodity prices and foreign currencies as it often has in the past.Figure 6: CNH has been strong relative to other EM currencies since the pandemic struck Bottom Line * China's economy grew 4.9% in Q3, 0.6% below consensus * China's debt levels are soaring across all categories, public and private * China's industrial sector is strong but its services sector has been weak * Since 2005, China's industrial sector has been a decent forward indicator of certain commodity prices * China's growth has also correlated positively with the trading levels of many currencies versus the U.S. dollar * If China slows because of internal imbalances or lack of external demand, that could be bearish for commodity prices and bullish for USD * To learn more about futures and options, go to Benzinga's futures and options education resource.See more from Benzinga * Options Trades For This Crazy Market: Get Benzinga Options to Follow High-Conviction Trade Ideas * What Is The Role Of Gold In 2020? * How Many People Are Going On Airplanes, Subways, And Out To Eat During The Pandemic?(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Despite claiming that it has ‘zero cases of COVID-19,’ North Korea demanded its people stay inside for fear that yellow dust traveling through the air from China could carry the “malignant virus” into the country. On Wednesday, North Korean state media aired special weather segments that warned of yellow dust sweeping across the country on […]
A total of 29 Filipino seafarers have tested positive for coronavirus after arriving in China to board their ships, according to a report carried in the Manila Bulletin, the Philippines’ largest English language broadsheet newspaper. According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the Chinese embassy in Manila informed the organisation that the crewmembers had …
In a specialized COVID-19 hospital in Iraqi capital of Baghdad, a Chinese-donated CT scan, mobile X-ray equipment, and other medical supplies are saving lives in the front-line battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Already 400 patients have benefited from the important medical donation.
The suspension of Johnson & Johnson’s clinical trials on a COVID-19 vaccine and Eli Lilly’s clinical trials on a COVID-19 drug in the US on two consecutive days raised safety concerns over COVID-19 vaccines and drugs in China, especially as the method Johnson & Johnson used is the same applied in a vaccine co-developed by CanSino and Chinese military medical expert Chen Wei.
A gene editing player hailing from Beijing has clinched $67 million to steer two of its lead candidates into the clinic — and to prove itself as a CRISPR pioneer in China. EdiGene gathered the Series B from a slate of top-tier Chinese investors, including 3H Health Investment (who led
The unemployment rate among university graduates rose by 4% in September. The country will find itself at the end of the year with 5 million new unemployed in the 20-24 age bracket. Consumption collapses (-6.6%). First glimmers of protest.
Japan's Fujifilm Holdings Corp said on Thursday it has partnered with Shanghai-based Carelink Pharmaceutical Co to seek approval in China for Avigan to treat COVID-19 and influenza. Carelink will use Fujifilm's data on Avigan's treatment of novel coronavirus infections and influenza to seek imported drug approval in China, Fujifilm said…
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he has canceled a deal to buy a Chinese-developed vaccine against the coronavirus, a day after his health minister announced Brazil would purchase millions of doses of CoronaVac. Bolsonaro said Wednesday that the intentions of Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria, one of his leading opponents, were distorted, saying he already canceled the deal before Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello signed it. Pazuello said in a statement that there was “no commitment” to buy the vaccine, only a "non-binding memorandum of understanding between the health ministry and the
Italy once again ramped up coronavirus restrictions in a bid to avoid a new nationwide lockdown, as parts of the United Kingdom have already reinstated lockdowns similar to those seen in March, and Poland converted a major stadium into a field hospital amid a massive surge in infections.
On January 31 I received a knock at the door of my Beijing apartment. It was the manager of lease renewals clutching a stack of flyers. “Mr. Zhang, you’re feeling well?” she asked, using my Chinese surname. “No fever yet.” She laughed—foreigners and their comments. “I know you don’t have the illness, but we want […]
“Capitalism on a Ventilator: The Impact of COVID-19 in China & the U.S” chronicles the terminal decline of capitalism. The book itself is an example of what can be accomplished through cooperation by progressive working-class organizations. This anthology is a collaboration by social justice advocates like Ajamu Baraka of the…
BEIJING (AP) - China's trade picked up in September as global demand for masks and medical supplies boosted exports and the economy's early reopening gave producers an edge over foreign competitors. Exports rose 9.9% over a year earlier to $239.8 billion, up from August's 9.5%, the fourth straight month of growth, customs data showed Tuesday. Imports gained 13.2% to $202.8 billion, up from the previous month's 2.1% contraction as the world's second-largest economy regained momentum. Exports had a "comprehensive recovery" in the three months ending in September, said a spokesman for the customs agency, Li Kuiwen. He said China has exported masks and other medical supplies worth 1 trillion yuan ($150 billion). China has "successfully filled the global supply shortage," Li said at a news conference. Chinese exporters have benefited from relative early end of travel and trade curbs after the ruling Communist Party declared victory over the outbreak in March. They are taking market share from foreign competitors that are hampered by anti-disease controls. "Renewed virus outbreaks in trading partners will be a challenge, but shipments of products benefiting from virus-related demand should continue to hold up," Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics said in a report. China's global trade surplus swelled 6.6% over a year earlier to $37 billion but was down sharply from August's $58.9 billion gap, thanks to higher exports. Exports to the United States rose 20.5% over a year ago to $44 billion despite higher U.S. tariffs in a fight with the Trump administration over Beijing's technology ambitions and trade surplus. Imports of American goods rose 24.5% to $13.2 billion. China became the first major economy to rebound to pre-virus growth levels in the second...
China seems to have bucked the trend of pandemic slumps hitting other countries, as its economic recovery accelerated in the third quarter. Given what domestic policymakers see as a potentially hostile international environment, a broader rethink is underway over how the Chinese economy is structured.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government has asked local health experts to look into the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines developed by Russia and China for possible later purchases, Orban's chief of staff said on Thursday. Hungary has also committed to buy 6.5 million vaccines from AstraZeneca
Although the overwhelming majority of COVID-19-related deaths are due to respiratory failure, little is known about the host response to SARS-CoV-2 in lung parenchyma. By profiling the lung and colon transcriptome and lung proteome of nine patients who died of COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic in Wuhan, China, we obtained molecular insights into the host response to severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. Interestingly, all samples had a low viral burden, a finding that suggests the patients’ deaths may be due to uncontrolled host inflammatory processes rather than an active viral infection. Taken together, our findings shed light on COVID-19 pathophysiology and offer potential therapeutic targets for severe COVID-19 disease. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, has resulted thus far in greater than 933,000 deaths worldwide; yet disease pathogenesis remains unclear. Clinical and immunological features of patients with COVID-19 have highlighted a potential role for changes in immune activity in regulating disease severity. However, little is known about the responses in human lung tissue, the primary site of infection. Here we show that pathways related to neutrophil activation and pulmonary fibrosis are among the major up-regulated transcriptional signatures in lung tissue obtained from patients who died of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. Strikingly, the viral burden was low in all samples, which suggests that the patient deaths may be related to the host response rather than an active fulminant infection. Examination of the colonic transcriptome of these patients suggested that SARS-CoV-2 impacted host responses even at a site with no obvious pathogenesis. Further proteomics analysis validated our transcriptome findings and identified several key proteins, such as the SARS-CoV-2 entry-associated protease cathepsins B and L and the inflammatory response modulator S100A8/A9, that are highly expressed in fatal cases, revealing potential drug targets for COVID-19. The raw sequence data from the Wuhan cases and controls have been deposited to NCBI with BioProject accession no. [PRJNA646224]. All data processing was performed as described in [ Materials and Methods ] using publicly available software. : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bioproject/?term=PRJNA646224 : #sec-7
BEIJING (AP) — China’s economic growth accelerated to 4.9% over a year earlier in the latest quarter as a shaky recovery from the coronavirus pandemic gathered strength. China, where virus outbreaks began in December, became the first major economy to return to growth with a 3.2% expansion in the quarter ending in June. Output contracted
The IMF estimates China will grow by 8.2% next year, down a full percentage point from the IMF’s April estimate but strong enough to account for more than one-quarter of global growth. The U.S. is expected to rally to a 3.1% increase which will account for 11.6% of global growth in 2021 in purchasing power parity terms.
One of China’s leading vaccine developers is working on a plan to inoculate students going overseas with Covid-19 shots that are yet to get regulatory approval, according to people familiar with the matter, as the country pushes scientific boundaries in the race for a viable immunization.