Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

Rough News Week For Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine

It was another bumpy week for British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, and the COVID-19 vaccine it developed in partnership with Oxford University.

The company was already battling the belief that its vaccine might be harmful to some receipients, compounded by the fact it has not yet received Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. Then, this week the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (led by Dr. Anthony Fauci) released a statement revealing concerns about the “information released by AstraZeneca on initial data from its COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial.”

On March 22, AstraZeneca had announced early results from…


Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

U.S. Impeachment Update: GOP Unlikely To Vote To Convict

House impeachment managers selected by Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered the articles of impeachment against ex-President Donald Trump to the Senate this week.

Pelosi named nine Democratic impeachment managers for the trial, expected to take place in February: Reps. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Diana DeGette of Colorado, Joe Neguse of Colorado, David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Joaquin Castro of Texas, Eric Swalwell of California, Ted Lieu of California and Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania, along with Stacey Plaskett, the U.S. Virgin Islands’ nonvoting delegate to Congress.

However, it looks increasingly there will not be enough votes in the Senate to convict Trump…


Source: https://www.statista.com/chart/23330/coronavirus-restrictions-europe-map/

Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

Lockdown Makes A Comeback In Europe, Over 9 Million Infections In The U.S.

In what has become a familiar refrain this month, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases around the world spiked this week, with a corresponding increase in the number of deaths — 45,075,642 confirmed cases, with 13,558,818 active cases and 1,182,010 fatalities.

Efforts to slow the rate of the outbreak in the United States have largely failed — at the time of writing there were 9,043,390 confirmed cases, 3,296,613 active and 232,194 deaths.

This comes as daily coronavirus cases in the United States continue surge to levels not seen since the summer, forcing hospitals in states like Utah to ration care


Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

US COVID-19 Cases Approaching Summer Levels, Europe Surge Continues

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases around the world once again rose significantly this week, with a corresponding spike in the number of deaths — 41,791,766 confirmed cases, with 12,268,206 active cases and 1,138,671 fatalities.

The outbreak in the United States continues to rage unabted — at the time of writing there were 8,498,360 confirmed cases, 2,914,394 active and 226,314 deaths.

This comes as daily coronavirus cases in the United States surge to levels not seen since the summer, with 14 states reporting peak Covid-19 hospitalizations in the past week: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota…


Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

Parts of The Europe Back In Lockdown As COVID-19 Cases Spike

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases around the world rose significantly this week, while the number of deaths also continues to increase — 38,971,792 confirmed cases, with 10,953,830 active cases and 1,098,982 fatalities.

The outbreak in the United States shows no signs of abating — at time of writing there were 8,076,402 confirmed cases, 2,669,444 active and 220,889 deaths.

This comes as the midwestern parts of the United States and beyond are witnessing surges in coronavirus cases, with new outbreaks and hospitalizations rising to record levels — pointing to a nationwide resurgence as temperatures get colder.

So far this week…


Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

A Look Beyond The Hysteria Over Headline Inflation Numbers

There has been a lot of hand-wringing and, frankly, borderline exaggeration in the press (without added context) this week over the record spike in U.S. consumer prices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index in May increased 0.6% after rising 0.8% in April.

What really dominated the headlines, however, is that prices are up 5% compared to May 2020, the biggest jump since August 2008. Excluding food and energy prices, CPI rose by 3.8% compared to a year ago, the largest increase since June 1992. On a monthly basis, core CPI is up 0.7% in May…


Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

US Unveils Plans To Share Vaccine Supply With Rest of The World

The United States government this week announced it will begin shipping doses from its COVID-19 vaccine supply to other parts of the globe, with the majority aimed at regions struggling to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“As long as this pandemic is raging anywhere in the world, the American people will still be vulnerable. And the United States is committed to bringing the same urgency to international vaccination efforts that we have demonstrated at home,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.

The initial shipment will be 25 million doses, close to 19 million of which will be shared…


Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

India’s Vaccine Export Ban Extended, Pfizer Vaccine Can Be Stored For Longer

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues in India, and the number of new cases recorded each day remains elevated, the Serum Institute — the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer — announced this week that it will maintain its pause on vaccine exports until the end of 2021.

The move comes as the Indian government struggles to contain the spread of a mutated version of the coronavirus continues, with vaccination rates still sluggish. SI’s decision is intended to support vaccination efforts within the country.

However, the announcement will have major ramifications for Covax, a global vaccine program backed by the World Health Organization…


Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

India COVID-19 Variant Spread, Pfizer Vaccine Approved for Adolescents, CDC Updates Guidelines

As the resurgent COVID-9 outbreak continues in India, and the number of new cases show no sign of slowing down, the UK’s Department of Health warned this week that the virus mutation from India is now spreading in certain areas of the country.

The agency said the number of cases in the UK had risen from 520 last week, to 1,313 this week — with most in the Northwest of England, and some in London.

“The B1.617.2 variant of concern is beginning to spread increasingly rapidly in certain areas across the country and decisive action is being taken to further…


Welcome to a regular snapshot-review of U.S. and international economic news that aims to 1) provide a window into the challenges and decisions facing businesses today, 2) determine the direction of economic policy — such as the speed at which central banks decide to raise interest rates, and 3) assess what the impact will be for consumers.

Biden Administration Support for Waiving Vaccine IP

As India’s resurgent COVID-9 outbreak continues to spike, and the number of new cases jumps daily, the country received a boost this week when the Biden administration came out in favor of waiving patents for coronavirus vaccines.

The U.S. Trade Representative said in a statement that “this is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures. The Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines.”

At time of writing, India’s Ministry of Health reported that the number…

Brai Odion-Esene

Founder — SW4 Insights. Public policy junkie and Central Bank Watcher. Recovering journalist and former Senior Director at Hamilton Place Strategies

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