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Daily Briefing – 171

Post: Oct. 15, 2020

NYS COVID-19 Numbers and Cluster Initiative Update

Governor Cuomo issued a press release yesterday providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Wednesday, October 14th.  Within the “Red Zone” focus areas, 3,473 test results were reported yesterday, yielding 168 positives or a 4.84 percent positivity rate. In the remainder of the state, not counting these “Red Zone” focus areas, 129,739 test results were reported, yielding 1,292 positives or a 0.99 percent positivity rate. The state’s overall positivity rate is 1.09 percent with focus areas included. Tracking data for the hotspots as compared to the rest of the State is below.
Summary of positivity rates:
  • 20 hotspot zip codes: 4.84%
  • Orange Red Zone: 7.95%
  • Rockland Red Zone: 8.40%
  • Statewide: 1.09%
  • Statewide excluding hotspots: 0.99%

There were 131 positive results from data collected at 111 schools yesterday. In New York City there were 38 positive results.  Here are some useful links

Jobless Claims: 898,000 Americans Filed New Unemployment Claims Last Week

U.S. states saw another 898,000 Americans file first-time unemployment insurance claims last week, representing an unexpected rise in new claims with the pandemic still under way and another round of fiscal stimulus still out of reach.  The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its weekly jobless claims report at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday. Here were the main metrics from the report, compared to Bloomberg estimates:

  • Initial jobless claims, week ended Oct. 10 – 898,000 vs. 825,000 expected and 845,000 during the prior week.
  • Continuing jobless claims, week ended Oct. 3 – 10.018 million vs. 10.550 million expected and 11.183 million during the prior week.

Read more at Yahoo Finance

White House Agrees to Democrats’ Testing Strategy – Move Opens Way for Larger Stimulus Deal

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday the administration was prepared to meet Democrats’ demands for a national coronavirus-testing strategy as part of a larger economic-relief package.

An agreement over a national testing plan would remove one of the biggest, but not the only, concern Democrats had raised last weekend with the White House’s latest $1.88 trillion proposal. It could clear a path for Mrs. Pelosi to reach an agreement with President Trump less than three weeks before the presidential election.

Read more in the WSJ

Producer Prices Rise 0.4 Percent

U.S. producer prices increased in September, fueled by a rise in hotel and motel prices and a more modest jump in the price of iron and steel scrap. According to the Labor Department report, “The producer price index for final demand rose 0.4% last month after advancing 0.3% in August. A 0.4% increase in the cost of services accounted for nearly two-thirds of the gain in the PPI last month. Services increased 0.5% in August. . . . Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the PPI would gain 0.2% in September and rise 0.2% on a year-on-year basis.”

NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray had this to say about the new report: “The bottom line is that inflation remains largely in check for raw material costs, even as producer prices have risen in recent months. Given the deflationary pressures seen in the economy in the spring, it should not be a surprise that prices would bounce back strongly. Yet, core inflation has remained below 2% for 15 straight months.”

Read more at Reuters

Empire State Manufacturing Survey: Activity Grew Modestly in October

Manufacturing activity in New York State grew modestly in October. The general business conditions index fell seven points to 10.5, its fourth consecutive positive reading. Thirty-six percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 25 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index climbed five points to 12.3, and the shipments index rose four points to 17.8, indicating ongoing gains in orders and shipments. Delivery times were little changed, while unfilled orders and inventories declined.

The index for number of employees moved up five points to 7.2, indicating that employment levels grew. The average workweek index rose nine points to 16.1, a multi-year high, signaling a significant increase in hours worked.

Read more

NY Fed Study: COVID-19 Has Temporarily Supercharged China’s Export Machine

China’s export performance this year has been stronger than expected. After a sharp slump at the beginning of 2020, the country’s exports have posted positive growth—the only major economy’s to do so. However, a closer look at the data reveals that this growth has not been very broad-based, but rather concentrated in areas where China’s export structure was well-positioned to take advantage of the global crisis—namely, production of medical supplies and school-from-home and work-from-home (S/WFH) goods.

Read more at the NY Fed Blog

EU and Eurozone Industrial Production Edged Higher in August

Industrial Production Up By 0.7% In Euro Area and 1.0% In EU, Down by 7.2% and 6.2% compared with August 2019.

New figures from Eurostat suggested that Europe’s manufacturing rebound was running out of steam even before covid-19 infection rates began to increase in recent weeks. Industrial production in the euro area rose in August by a lower-than-expected 0.7% month-on-month. And output is still down by 7.2% compared with the same month in 2019.

Read the EuroStat press release

Boeing’s Q3 Deliveries Show Scope of Its Problems

The 737 MAX crisis may end soon, but the Covid-19 pandemic is beginning to show how falling demand for new aircraft is affecting manufacturing activity.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes delivered 28 new aircraft during the July-September period, compared to 62 delivered for Q3 2019.  Boeing’s Q3 orders for military aircraft totaled 37 (including new and remanufactured AH-64 Apache helicopters, new and remanufactured CH 47 Chinook helicopters, F/A-18 Models, P-8 Models, and KC-46 tankers.) This compares to 120 military aircraft orders received during Q3 2019.

Read more at American Machinist