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Daily Briefing – 201

COVID and Cluster Update 

Governor Cuomo held a press briefing yesterday afternoon providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Sunday, November 29th. The Governor reminded New Yorkers that Thanksgiving was not the end, but just the beginning of the dangerous Holiday Season “You are not just going into the Thanksgiving weekend, you’re starting a 37-day holiday period. It’s not a one- or two-day affair—it’s going to be the entire holiday season. New Yorkers need to stay vigilant, wash their hands, wear masks, socially distance and follow the rules as we move through the next 37 days and beyond.” He said. 

Tracking data for the Clusters and the rest of the State are below. 

  • Clusters: 6.22%
  • Rockland yellow zone: 4.23%
  • Westchester yellow-zones (Peekskill  8.43, Ossining 10.65, Tarrytown 6.38, Yonkers 5.03 New Rochelle 6.19, Port Chester 7.91)
  • Orange Yellow Zones – (Newburgh 7.66, Middletown 4.78)
  • Statewide: 4.57%
  • Statewide excluding clusters: 4.02%
  • Statewide hospitalizations: 3,532 (681 in ICU) 
  • Transmission Rate (R0): 1.11

Here are some useful websites:


China’s Factory Activity Expands at Fastest Pace in More Than Three Years

Upbeat data released on Monday suggests the world’s second-largest economy is on track to become the first to completely shake off the drag from widespread industry shutdowns, with recent production data showing manufacturing now at pre-pandemic levels.

China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) rose to 52.1 in November from 51.4 in October, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. It was the highest PMI reading since September 2017 and remained above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis. It was also higher than the 51.5 median forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Read more at Reuters


OPEC Faces Seismic Demand Split as Cartel Plots Next Move

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh on global oil demand, the OPEC oil producers’ club on Monday began a meeting in which they are expected to decide on an extension of production cuts.

The common goal of the 13 member states, who will be joined by Russia and other allies forming the OPEC+ grouping on Tuesday, is to keep afloat a crude market devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic and which is slowly recovering from the depths into which prices plunged at the end of April. However, most observers expect the cut instead to be extended by three to six months to take into account the ongoing effects of the virus.

Read more at Bloomberg


Moderna Says New Data Shows Covid Vaccine is More Than 94% Effective, Asks FDA for Emergency Clearance

Moderna Monday requested emergency clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for its coronavirus vaccine after new data confirms the vaccine is more than 94% effective in preventing Covid-19 and was safe. The new analysis from Moderna evaluated 196 confirmed Covid infections among the late-stage trial’s 30,000 participants. The company said 185 cases of Covid were observed in the placebo group versus 11 cases observed in the group that received its vaccine. That resulted in an estimated vaccine efficacy of 94.1%, the company said.

Moderna hopes to provide the U.S. government with 20 million doses by the end of the year, and Pfizer says it should have 50 million doses to split between the United States and other countries that made advanced purchase agreements.

Read more at CNBC


How COVID-19 Forced Companies to Reinvent Themselves

Long-term plans for technology, localized supply chains and the ability to quickly pivot production have helped companies such as furniture maker Ethan Allen and pizza maker Domino’s survive the pandemic, write Jennifer Pellet and Dale Buss. “If our focus was three to five years, like most companies, we would do like everyone else and go after higher margins by buying products made in East Asia,” says Ethan Allen CEO Farooq Kathwari.


The Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon on What Democrat Supermajorities in Albany Might Mean To the State’s Fiscal Situation and Economy

When most of the state’s record 1.9 million mail-in ballots were finally counted this week, it became clear that the New York State Senate’s existing 40-member Democratic majority would grow by at least two seats—giving them their first-ever two-thirds supermajority of the 63-member chamber, enough to override gubernatorial vetoes.

“Economic reality doesn’t factor into the rising Albany worldview. On average, the state’s incoming class of legislators are more inclined to tax, spend, and regulate—and far from hesitating to impose more restrictions on a shaky economy, they see the pandemic-driven crisis as an opportunity to be exploited.”

Read more at the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal


GM Revises Nikola Deal, Won’t Build Electric Pickup

General Motors has agreed to a new deal with Nikola under which GM will build the fuel-cell system for Nikola’s Class 7 and 8 semi-trucks. The revision means GM won’t take an equity stake or manufacture Nikola’s planned electric pickup.

In September, the companies announced a deal under which GM would supply batteries, a chassis architecture, fuel cell systems and a factory to build Nikola’s proposed Badger electric pickup in return for an 11% stake and $700 million. But the deal came into question after a short seller criticised Nikola as a fraud, something Nikola has denied.

Read the full story at Reuters


Study: Covid Infections in England Fall By 30% After Lockdown

Coronavirus infections in England have fallen by about a third over lockdown, according to a major study. Some of the worst-hit areas saw the biggest improvements – but, despite this progress, cases remained relatively high across England.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the data showed the country could not “take our foot off the pedal just yet”.  The findings by Imperial College London were based on swabbing more than 100,000 people between 13-24 November.

Read more at the BBC


New York Federal Reserve President John Williams More Optimistic About Economic Recovery

In an interview carried live on the Wall Street Journal’s website, President Williams said the lending facilities stood up earlier this year were effective and that “if we did see a need to use those kinds of facilities again, we could restart them if that was appropriate.” In separate remarks before the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, Williams said he is more optimistic about the economic recovery given positive developments, including a stronger than expected rebound, and developments regarding COVID-19 vaccines. But he noted that the labor force is still down millions of jobs since COVID-19 pandemic first hit and emphasized that Fed’s commitment to help the economy get back to “full strength.”

Watch the Q&A at the WSJ


Two Surveys for New York State Manufacturers From FuzeHub: PPE, and Reshoring & Supply Chain

The New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NYMEP) is helping manufacturers statewide to access Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in response to COVID-19. Grants are available for NYS manufacturers of PPE. Please take this brief survey.

Learn more and take the survey

We continue to listen to New York State Manufacturers on how their Supply Chains have been affected by Covid-19 and Tariffs. We NEED to hear from you! Was your supply chain disrupted by Covid-19? | Are your imported goods falling short on deliver or quality? | Do you want to develop a strategy to better sell to domestic clients? | Have you been impacted by Tariffs? | Were you unaware of the Risks to your supply chain? If YES to any of those, please take part in our Supply Chain Program Survey.

Learn more and take the Survey


 

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