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Daily Briefing – 263

Post: Mar. 15, 2021

COVID Update 

Governor Cuomo held a press briefing yesterday morning providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Monday March 15th.  

Hospitalization tracking data for the Mid-Hudson region and the rest of the State are below.  


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 4,517
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 463

ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)

  • Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 4,086
  • Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 376

Other Data

  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 3.22%
  • Mid-Hudson Positivity Rate: 4.62%

Useful Websites:

Assembly, Senate Pass One House Budgets – Part of the Annual NYS Budget Process

The two legislative chambers posted their one-house budget bills online over the weekend, planning for more than $200 billion of spending. These budgets are meant to plant a flag for each chamber about their policy priorities and goals, and they are subject to negotiation between the leaders or representatives of the Executive Chamber, Assembly and Senate. Stark differences remain between their proposals for raising taxes on the wealthy and legalizing online mobile sports betting and what Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has said he supports.

The governor, constitutionally, has tremendous sway over how the budget is written and edited, but it remains to be seen how his politically-weakened stance — as a result of the COVID-19 nursing home deaths and sexual harassment allegations facing him — will influence negotiations.

Read more at the Olean Times Herald

NYS Vaccine Update 

As of 11 am Monday 4,493,757 (plus 77,598 from yesterday) New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose and 2,317,552 are fully vaccinated (Plus 52,789).  In the Hudson Valley 428,102 (plus 6,954) have at least one dose and 216,718 (plus 2,524) are fully vaccinated. 

US Rollout: Cases Down, Vaccines Success Means Another Case Spike Like Europe Unlikely

Coronavirus developments in Europe are likely no longer early indications of what will happen weeks later in the U.S., due partly to America’s progress vaccinating its population, Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday. The former Food and Drug Administration commissioner’s comments on “Squawk Box” come one day after White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said the situation in Europe shows why U.S. states should not completely ditch pandemic precautions right now. Newly reported Covid-19 cases in the U.S. dropped below 40,000 for the first time since early October, 

“Earlier I said we were sort of four to maybe six weeks behind Europe, and we pretty much were,” Gottlieb said, referring to previous phases of the global health crisis. “Everything that happened in Europe eventually happened here. Now I think the tables have turned. We’re ahead of Europe.”

Read more at CNBC

AstraZeneca Defends Vaccine After More Countries Suspend Use Over Blood Clot Concerns

AstraZeneca said a review of data from 17m people vaccinated with its covid-19 jab, developed with Oxford University, found no increased risk of blood clots. Over the weekend Ireland and the Netherlands joined a growing list of European countries in halting use of the jab, after reports of clotting. The review, conducted alongside European health authorities, found fewer clotting cases than would be expected to occur naturally.

Read more at Market Watch

SBA Extends Deferment Period for all COVID-19 EIDL and Other Disaster Loans until 2022

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced extended deferment periods for all disaster loans, including the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, until 2022.

All SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2020, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 24-months from the date of the note. All SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2021, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 18-months from the date of the note. 

Read more at the SBA

March Empire State Manufacturing Survey – Highest Reading Since Last July

Manufacturing activity grew substantially in New York State in March. The general business conditions index rose five points to 17.4, its ninth consecutive positive reading, and its highest level since July of last year. Delivery times again rose at the fastest pace in a year, and inventories edged higher.

The index for number of employees was little changed at 9.4, indicating ongoing modest gains in employment, and the average workweek index inched up to 10.9, signaling an increase in hours worked. The prices paid index rose seven points to 64.4, again reaching its highest level in a decade, pointing to sharp input price increases. The prices received index was little changed from last month’s two-year high, pointing to ongoing selling price increases.

Read more at the NY Fed

NAM Manufacturing Economy Report – Cost Top Concern for Manufacturers

In the latest NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, 87.6% of respondents said they feel either somewhat or very positive about their company’s outlook, the highest level in two years. The outlook bounced back from the 33.9% reading in the second quarter of 2020, which was the worst reading since the Great Recession. Medium and large manufacturers were more upbeat in their outlook than smaller firms.
Roughly two-thirds of manufacturers expect to return to pre-pandemic levels of revenue by the end of 2021, with one-third saying that their revenues had recovered by the end of 2022. Cited by 76.2% of respondents, rising raw material costs topped the list of primary business challenges in the first quarter. Although 65.8% of those completing the survey consider the inability to attract and retain talent as their top challenge, this issue dropped to second place.

NAM Manufacturing Economy Report 0315 2021

White House Weighs How to Pay for Long-Term Economic Program

The Biden administration is looking past its $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill and starting to consider how to pay for the next round of programs. The challenges are twofold. Officials face a decision over how much of the bill to pay for with tax increases and which policies to finance with more borrowing. In a narrowly divided Congress, they must also craft a bill that can win support from nearly every Democrat. The decision will help determine how much of President Biden’s Build Back Better economic agenda he can advance in his first year in office.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday that the Biden administration hasn’t decided whether to pursue a wealth tax, and that while the administration intends to issue proposals to rein in deficits over time, U.S. borrowing costs are manageable right now.

Read more at the WSJ

Southwest, JetBlue Expect Leisure Bookings to Help Revenue

Southwest Airlines Co and JetBlue Airways Corp pointed to a steady rise in leisure bookings as signs of a slowing pandemic due to vaccine rollouts drove more people to go on vacations or visit their friends and relatives.

Southwest also forecast lower cash burn in the first quarter on Monday and said operating revenue for March and April was expected to improve as a rise in leisure bookings countered a lag in business travel.

Read more at Reuters

Boeing, Southwest Near Deal For Massive 737 Max Order: Report

A source told Reuters late Wednesday that the deal could potentially include 130 firm orders plus significant options for 170 more. At list prices, 130 737 Max jets would be about $13 billion, though carriers typically get steep discounts for large deals. However, another source said the firm orders could come in less than 100, according to Reuters.

The order would be for the Boeing 737 Max 7, which is a smallest variant of the narrowbody family of planes that received clearance late last year to return to service again.

Read more at Investors Business Daily

When CEOs Really Think We’ll Come Back to Work

Top executives are seeing light at the end of the pandemic tunnel as the U.S. vaccination efforts continue to ramp up and more states expand eligibility for shots. But corporate leaders are still split on what the workplace will look like in 2021 and beyond.

“Given the global rollout of vaccines, we are currently planning on the basis that schools and [SAT] test centers will reopen in a socially distant fashion during March, and that normal operations will resume in the second half of 2021.…We will occupy a significantly smaller corporate office square footage.”

—Sally Johnson, financial chief, Pearson 

Here is what some other top executives are saying about coming out of Covid-19 lockdowns, widening vaccinations and bringing people back into the workplace.

Read more at the WSJ