- ECONOMIC IMPACT -
Last Updated March 2022
United States: The United States reported approximately 79.56 million confirmed cumulative COVID-19 cases as of March 15, 2022. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 65.3% of the total population got fully vaccinated as of March 14, 2022. Amongst these, 44.3% of the fully vaccinated population have received booster dose.
The total COVID-19 cases for the week ending March 13, 2022, have declined by almost 17.23%, compared to the previous week. As per the data from US Census Bureau, January 2022 witnessed a 0.8% month-on-month (m-o-m) increase in wholesale inventories across the United States. Business confidence in the country remains low, as indicated by a decrease in the business confidence index (BCI): to 101.08 in February 2022 from 101.15 during January 2022.
India: The country is second on the list of total COVID-19 cases reported globally and has recorded 42.99 million cumulative cases as of March 15, 2022. Around 59.42% of India’s population is fully vaccinated as of date. As per the latest release from the Reserve Bank of India, India’s foreign exchange reserves stood at USD631.92 billion for the week ending March 04, 2022, after witnessing an increase of USD0.39 billion during the immediate week before.
Primary estimates indicate that unemployment in India would reduce to around 7.25% in March 2022 from an estimated 8.10% in February 2022. India’s Industrial Production (IIP) growth observed a 1.3% year-on-year (y-o-y) rise in January 2022. The country continues to witness high inflation as retail inflation stood at 6.07% in February 2022.
Brazil: The country has registered a total of 29.39 million COVID-19 cases with an associated fatality rate of 2.23% as of March 15, 2022. About 74.70% of Brazil’s entire population is fully vaccinated as of date.
According to Instituto Brasileiro De Geografia E Estatística (IBGE), the National Consumer Price Index (INPC) has risen by 1.0% m-o-m in February 2022, compared to 0.67% in January 2022. The BCI in the country declined to 99.8 in February 2022 from 100.18 during January 2022.
During this week’s revision, Brazil’s real GDP growth forecast for 2022 is revised to 0.49%, witnessing a reduction from 0.72% of previous weekly forecast.
United Kingdom: The total cumulative cases of COVID-19 in the country stood at 19.84 million, as of March 15, 2022. About 85.6% of the population aged 12 and above got fully vaccinated as of March 13, 2022. Among these, 67% of the fully vaccinated population has also received booster doses. The total active COVID-19 cases as of 14th March 2022 have increased by almost 48.05%, compared to the previous week. The business confidence in the nation remains low, as indicated by a decline in business confidence index: to 104.9 in February 2022 from 105.3 in January 2022.
The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine led to a significant increase in petrol prices across the nation during the first week of March 2022. The country is also likely to witness a rise in food prices, including that of bread as imports of wheat from Russia and Ukraine are disrupted. During the current weekly revision exercise, the real GDP growth for 2022 is forecast at 3.96%, representing a decline of 0.19% from that of the previous weekly revision.
IMF has revised its 2020 global GDP forecast to -4.4% from an estimate of -4.9% made in June.
The global economy is estimated to contract by 4.2% in 2020 and bounce back by 5.3% in 2021.
Impact of Covid-19 on equity indices
- SECTOR IMPACT: Finance -
Last Updated March 2022
Clinical trial market impact
Trial disruption is leveling off and disrupted trials saw a small dip, with 1,032 trials still disrupted and 579 pharma/biotech companies and contract research organisations associated with disrupted clinical trials.
There are currently 3,414 clinical trials underway for Covid-19, including 172 multinational trialsroboto slab and 2,818 single-country trials.
HSBC to shutter 69 branches in UK as digital banking gains traction
HSBC UK has announced plans to close 69 branches in the country citing increasing customer inclination towards digital banking.
The bank noted that less than 50% of its customers actively use its branches, which has increased since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The bank noted that it will continue to invest in its digital and mobile services and deploy resources to update technology and refurbish branches that are still being used by customers, HSBC UK said.
To support customers, the London-headquartered bank said it plans to set up community pop-ups and integrated self-service machines, offer digital support and allow continued use of the Post Office network.
HSBC UK branch network head Jackie Uhi said: “The way people bank is changing – something the pandemic has accelerated. Our branches continue to support people with their more complex banking needs, but the way we can do this has also evolved, with the addition of banking hubs, community pop-ups and continued use of the Post Office network.
“We know that the majority of our customers have a preference to do much of their day-to-day banking online or via mobile, so we are removing locations where we have another branch nearby, and where there is a significant reduction in customers using face-to-face branch servicing.”
Following the closures, HSBC’s number of branches in the UK will come down to 441.
Earlier this week, HSBC’s indirect subsidiary, HSBC Continental Europe signed a deal to sell its branch operations in Greece to local lender Pancreta Bank.