7 days of economics


Week of 12 to 18 May 2021
Monday 17
Global : Serendipity lost? Working from home and innovation
Working from home is expected to have a positive impact on the level of productivity but will it also influence its growth rate? The answer largely depends on what happens to innovation. Interaction between people is key for idea generation and the exchange of information. Formal interaction can be easily organized using a variety of software applications but informal interaction is a bigger challenge. To make sure that serendipity within and amongst teams – given its importance for a culture of innovation – is maintained, a combination of working from home and onsite seems to be recommended. 
William DE VIJLDER 5/17/2021
France : April’s lockdown had a mildly negative impact on overall economic activity
Our barometer shows a marked improvement in France’s economic situation in recent months compared to the three previous months. Yet the improvement is helped by a very favourable base effect. In April 2021, the base effect should be favourable again, despite another lockdown.
Hélène BAUDCHON 5/17/2021
Spain : Clearer skies ahead
After disappointing Q1 GDP figures – which showed the economy contracting again, by 0.5% q/q – the second quarter should bring the start of the much-anticipated recovery in Spain. The improvement in the Covid-19 situation is continuing to have a knock-on effect on business and consumer confidence, which brightened again in April, as shown by our pulse.
Guillaume DERRIEN 5/17/2021
Global : Covid-19 : Fall in number of new cases worldwide
According to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University, 5.5 million new Covid-19 cases were recorded around the world in the week of 4-10 May, a 12.5% drop from the previous week. This fall was seen in Europe (-16.5%), Asia (excluding India, -14.5%) and the Americas (-6.3%).
Tarik Rharrab 5/17/2021
Wednesday 12
France : Recovery in France: slowed before it started?
The increase in supply side difficulties identified by INSEE’s economic surveys in April 2021 requires a closer look. It is to be hoped that it will not hold back a recovery that is only just beginning to take shape. The rise has been particularly noticeable in the industry sector and has mainly been blamed on procurement problems that significantly exceed average levels from past years. In the construction sector, a shortage of labour has been the main difficulty (as it was before the crisis) but procurement constraints have also increased sharply. In the services sector, supply side difficulties relate primarily to health protections measures. In this sector however, demand side problems are  affecting a greater number of companies. Procurement issues were also highlighted by the Banque de France in its economic update on 10 May. They were mentioned by slightly over a quarter of companies in the industry and construction sectors, although it is noteworthy to add that they have not so far affected these companies’ own prospects of an improvement in activity levels. This is reassuring and  suggests that if these difficulties do hold back the recovery, the effect will be moderate. This said, a rapid easing of the supply side difficulties will be needed. For those relating to health protection measures, this will come from the lifting of lockdown measures. For the problems in procurement and recruitment the way out is less clear.
Hélène BAUDCHON 5/12/2021
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