The measures to stop the spreading of the pandemic have a profound impact on the economy which increasingly shows up in the economic data. Record declines in business sentiment illustrate the necessity of the forceful policy measures which have already been taken. The lifting of the lockdowns will, mechanistically, trigger a rebound in activity but additional stimulus will probably be needed to maintain the momentum.

We are in an atypical recession. Robert Kaplan, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas calls it a self-mandated recession1 . The necessary measures to stop the spreading of the pandemic have a profound impact on the economy causing a recession which is expected to be deep and short.

Recent economic data which have been gathered when lockdowns had been introduced start to show the extent of the hit. The flash purchasing managers’ indices2 for March showed big declines, in particular in services and as far as export orders are concerned. In Germany, the ifo business climate had the biggest monthly decline on record and the same holds for its French equivalent produced by INSEE. In the US, initial jobless claims jumped to 3.3 million -the highest on record- and is expected to increase further in the near term. This number didn’t stop Wall Street from rallying strongly, which may reflect optimism about the impact of the USD 2 trillion stimulus package -about 10% of GDP- which had been voted in the Senate but it might also show that investors are ‘looking through’ very poor data, considering that a selfmandated recession will end swiftly once the lockdown is lifted.

This shifts the debate on the economic costs of the lockdown. These costs depend on how long it will be maintained and under which conditions. INSEE communicated this week that the loss of activity due to one month of confinement, could lower annual GDP by 3%3 . A confinement of two months would have an impact on annual GDP of 6%. The ifo Institute calculated that in case of a partial standstill for two months “the costs will range from EUR 255 to 495 billion, depending on the scenario. That means output for the year will shrink by 7.2 to 11.2 percentage points”.

These estimates illustrate how crucial it is to comply with the measures to stop the spreading of the virus: strict compliance increases the likelihood that lockdowns would be lifted sooner rather than later thereby limiting the human cost but also the economic impact. In many European countries as well as in the US, measures have been taken to attenuate the impact on companies, in particular SMEs, so as to avoid that a liquidity problem would end up becoming a solvency problem, thereby inflicting lasting damage to the economy. In addition, income support to households or, as seen in several European countries, measures to facilitate the use of part-time unemployment whilst limiting the impact for the people concerned, should avoid that household spending declines even more.

Once lockdowns are lifted in various countries, activity will, mechanistically, rebound as people will be able to spend and travel again and companies to offer their goods and services. However, that does not mean that companies will rush to start investment plans which previously had been put on hold or even canceled altogether. Likewise, the sudden increase in unemployment will take time to go into reverse. As a consequence, a second wave of fiscal policy support will probably be needed to keep the momentum going.


Download The Full EcoWeek

BNP Paribas is regulated by the FSA for the conduct of its designated investment business in the UK and is a member of the London Stock Exchange. The information and opinions contained in this report have been obtained from public sources believed to be reliable, but no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made that such information is accurate or complete and it should not be relied upon as such. This report does not constitute a prospectus or other offering document or an offer or solicitation to buy any securities or other investment. Information and opinions contained in the report are published for the assistance of recipients, but are not to be relied upon as authoritative or taken in substitution for the exercise of judgement by any recipient, they are subject to change without notice and not intended to provide the sole basis of any evaluation of the instruments discussed herein. Any reference to past performance should not be taken as an indication of future performance. No BNP Paribas Group Company accepts any liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material contained in this report. All estimates and opinions included in this report constitute our judgements as of the date of this report. BNP Paribas and their affiliates ("collectively "BNP Paribas") may make a market in, or may, as principal or agent, buy or sell securities of the issuers mentioned in this report or derivatives thereon. BNP Paribas may have a financial interest in the issuers mentioned in this report, including a long or short position in their securities, and or options, futures or other derivative instruments based thereon. BNP Paribas, including its officers and employees may serve or have served as an officer, director or in an advisory capacity for any issuer mentioned in this report. BNP Paribas may, from time to time, solicit, perform or have performed investment banking, underwriting or other services (including acting as adviser, manager, underwriter or lender) within the last 12 months for any issuer referred to in this report. BNP Paribas, may to the extent permitted by law, have acted upon or used the information contained herein, or the research or analysis on which it was based, before its publication. BNP Paribas may receive or intend to seek compensation for investment banking services in the next three months from an issuer mentioned in this report. Any issuer mentioned in this report may have been provided with sections of this report prior to its publication in order to verify its factual accuracy. This report was produced by a BNP Paribas Group Company. This report is for the use of intended recipients and may not be reproduced (in whole or in part) or delivered or transmitted to any other person without the prior written consent of BNP Paribas. By accepting this document you agree to be bound by the foregoing limitations. Analyst Certification Each analyst responsible for the preparation of this report certifies that (i) all views expressed in this report accurately reflect the analyst's personal views about any and all of the issuers and securities named in this report, and (ii) no part of the analyst's compensation was, is, or will be, directly or indirectly, related to the specific recommendations or views expressed herein. United States: This report is being distributed to US persons by BNP Paribas Securities Corp., or by a subsidiary or affiliate of BNP Paribas that is not registered as a US broker-dealer, to US major institutional investors only. BNP Paribas Securities Corp., a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, is a broker-dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and is a member of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. BNP Paribas Securities Corp. accepts responsibility for the content of a report prepared by another non-US affiliate only when distributed to US persons by BNP Paribas Securities Corp. United Kingdom: This report has been approved for publication in the United Kingdom by BNP Paribas London Branch, a branch of BNP Paribas whose head office is in Paris, France. BNP Paribas London Branch is regulated by the Financial Services Authority ("FSA") for the conduct of its designated investment business in the United Kingdom and is a member of the London Stock Exchange. This report is prepared for professional investors and is not intended for Private Customers in the United Kingdom as defined in FSA rules and should not be passed on to any such persons. Japan: This report is being distributed to Japanese based firms by BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Limited, Tokyo Branch, or by a subsidiary or affiliate of BNP Paribas not registered as a financial instruments firm in Japan, to certain financial institutions permitted by regulation. BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Limited, Tokyo Branch, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, is a financial instruments firm registered according to the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law of Japan and a member of the Japan Securities Dealers Association. BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Limited, Tokyo Branch accepts responsibility for the content of a report prepared by another non-Japan affiliate only when distributed to Japanese based firms by BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Limited, Tokyo Branch. Hong Kong: This report is being distributed in Hong Kong by BNP Paribas Hong Kong Branch, a branch of BNP Paribas whose head office is in Paris, France. BNP Paribas Hong Kong Branch is regulated as a Licensed Bank by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and is deemed as a Registered Institution by the Securities and Futures Commission for the conduct of Advising on Securities [Regulated Activity Type 4] under the Securities and Futures Ordinance Transitional Arrangements. Singapore: This report is being distributed in Singapore by BNP Paribas Singapore Branch, a branch of BNP Paribas whose head office is in Paris, France. BNP Paribas Singapore is a licensed bank regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore is exempted from holding the required licenses to conduct regulated activities and provide financial advisory services under the Securities and Futures Act and the Financial Advisors Act. © BNP Paribas (2011). All rights reserved.

Analysis feed

FXStreet Trading Signals now available!

Access to real-time signals, community and guidance now!


Latest Forex Analysis

Editors’ Picks

EUR/USD tops 1.12 amid risk-on mood, ahead of data

EUR/USD is trading around 1.12, the highest since March. The safe-haven dollar is weakening amid optimism for reopening and stimulus, shrugging off civil unrest. EZ Services PMIs beat estimates. ADP's jobs report is eyed.

EUR/USD News

GBP/USD retraces gains under 1.2600, Brexit, US data eyed

GBP/USD consolidates the latest gains just around 1.26 amid dollar weakness. The Brexit impasse continues despite hopes for mutual concessions. Markit's Final Services PMI beat expectations with 29 points, still reflecting deep contraction.

GBP/USD News

Forex Today: US unrest? Stocks remain restless, extend surge, dollar dives to new lows, top NFP hints eyed

Large protests continue in the US, albeit with a quieter nature. Markets are focusing on stimulus, with stocks extending the gradual gains and the safe-haven dollar further falling. A busy day awaits traders with two Non-Farm Payrolls hints, the BOC decision, and additional data.

Read more

WTI: Aims to fill the early-March gap above $41.00

WTI eases from a three-month high of $37.17 at the end of the four-day winning streak. The energy benchmark paid a little heed to the price-positive weekly inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute (API).

Oil News

Gold: Prints rounding top on 4-hour chart above $1,700

Gold stays mildly offered after stepping back from $1,745. Considering the bullion’s moderate pullback since the week’s start, a potential rounding top bearish formation appears on the 4-hour chart. An ascending trend line from April 21 is on the bears’ radars.

Gold News

Forex Majors

Cryptocurrencies

Signatures