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Daily Briefing – 306

Post: May. 16, 2021

Global Manufacturing Soars, But Input Costs Soar at Fastest Pace
in 10 Years

The J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI rose from 55.0 in March to 55.8 in April, the fastest pace in 11 years, buoyed by growth in new orders, output and hiring, each of which was the strongest in at least a decade. Overall, manufacturers remain very upbeat in their outlook for production over the next six months. However, survey respondents also cited significant supply chain disruptions, with input costs soaring at the fastest pace since March 2011. The country-by-country data also reflected these larger trends, with robust growth in orders and output, but also in raw material prices.

Read the JP Morgan Global Manufacturing Survey

Manufacturing Productivity Crept Up 0.4% in April Despite Auto Bottleneck

The latest information from the Federal Reserve shows that total industrial production rose 0.7% in April. Manufacturing productivity, which excludes mining and utilities figures, rose 0.4 points after rising 3.1 points in March. Total industrial productivity is currently at 106.3% of its average 2012 levels and 103.2% for manufacturing productivity specifically. The latest release also indicates that previous gains were better than initially reported: The Federal Reserve reported May 14 that production in March rose 2.4%, a full percentage point higher than the earlier estimate.

According to the Federal Reserve, production figures were held back by continuing difficulty in the motor vehicles and parts sector. Automotive products, transit equipment, and consumer parts all recorded production losses, likely thanks to the ongoing shortage of semiconductors. The industry group index for automotive vehicles and parts fell 4.3%.

Read more at IndustryWeek


3 Incentives to Encourage Employees to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

A recent McKinsey & Company report found that 63% of Americans are cautious about or unlikely to adopt COVID-19 vaccination, however experts estimate that about 70% of the population must be vaccinated to reach herd immunity status. As employers plan for a safe post-pandemic workplace, they have an important role to play in encouraging and educating their employees about COVID-19 vaccinations.

Here are three ways to incentivize your workers to get vaccinated

  • Cash incentives
  • Accommodations for vaccine appointments
  • Paid time off

Read more at the US Chamber

Indoor Mask Mandates Still in Place As New Yorkers Raise Concerns About New CDC Guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely unmask almost everywhere–and the reactions in New York are mixed.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is currently deliberating over whether to change New York’s mask policy, which still indicates that everyone who can “medically tolerate” a face covering must wear one in public if they’re unable to distance themselves from others.  But Cuomo and his health team are mulling whether to add the new rules, which lift restrictions outdoors and almost anywhere indoors, except for public transit, medical settings like doctor’s offices, on planes, and in congregate living settings such as nursing homes and prisons. 

Read more at Gothamist

US Vaccine Rollout – CDC Begins Tracking Adolescents

The US has distributed 339 million doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and administered 267 million. Daily doses administered* continues to decrease, down from a high of 3.3 million on April 11 to 1.8 million. Approximately 1.3 million people are achieving fully vaccinated status per day, down from a high of 1.8 million per day on April 12.

A total of 155 million individuals in the US have received at least 1 dose, equivalent to 47% of the entire US population and 59% of all adults. Of those, 119 million are fully vaccinated, which corresponds to 36% of the total population and 46% of adults.  The CDC added data for individuals aged 12 years and older to its vaccination dashboard, and in total—including individuals aged 16 and 17 who were previously eligible—2.5 million adolescents have received at least 1 dose, and 1.3 million are fully vaccinated. 

Read More at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

NYS Vaccine Update – State Reaches 50% With One Dose

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Saturday announced 50 percent of all New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. “Our progress on vaccinations is remarkable, and with about half of all New Yorkers now having received at least one dose of the vaccine, we are steadily moving towards the light of the end of the tunnel.” The Governor said.

As of Sunday morning 9,940,875 (plus 48,177 from a day earlier) New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose and 8,295,963 are fully vaccinated (Plus 62,359).  In the Hudson Valley 1,054,218 (plus 4,908) have at least one dose and 987,163 (plus 6,586) are fully vaccinated. 

NYS COVID Update – 42 Straight Days of Decline in  Posititve Test Rate 

The Governor  updated COVID data through Saturday May 15th.  The individual 7-day average positivity of all three downstate regions — Long Island, New York City, and the Mid-Hudson — fell below 1.0% yesterday for the first time since September 3, 2020. There were 33 COVID related deaths for a total of 42,473. Hospitalization tracking data for the Mid-Hudson region and the rest of the State are below.  


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 1,583
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 134

ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)

  • Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 3,872
  • Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 389

Seven Day Average Positivity Rate:

  • Statewide 1.13%
  • Mid-Hudson: 0.99%

Useful Websites:

NAM Study on the Effect of Increasing the Corporate Tax Rate

The NAM released a new study Friday that shows that proposed tax increases would inflict significant damage on the American economy.  The new analysis calculated the effects of increasing the corporate tax rate to 25%, increasing the top marginal tax rate, repealing the 20% pass-through deduction, eliminating certain expensing provisions and more. This study follows a previous NAM analysis of provisions that included a 28% corporate rate. The negative consequences would include the following:

  • One million jobs would be lost in the first two years.
  • The average reduction in employment would be equivalent to a loss of 500,000 jobs per year over the next decade.
  • By 2023, GDP would be down by $107 billion, by $169 billion in 2026 and by $89 billion in 2031.
  • Ordinary capital, or investments in equipment and structures, would be $70 billion less in 2023 and $70 billion and $51 billion less in 2026 and 2031, respectively. 

See the results at NAM

4 Cybersecurity Leadership Actions to Take Now

It’s been a season of harrowing news for U.S. cybersecurity. In December, we learned that a group of hackers—almost certainly Russian agents—infiltrated SolarWinds, a Texas-based IT firm, granting it access to nine federal agencies and a growing list of private companies. Then, in March, another breach: this time it was Microsoft, which announced that Chinese hackers had exploited vulnerabilities in their Exchange email servers, compromising hundreds of thousands of organizations’ data. Add to this the ransomware attack in May that caused the disruption of the largest energy-pipeline system serving the East Coast.

So what should businesses leaders understand about their role in this new era of enhanced cyber-vulnerability? Here are four lessons they can draw in light of the recent threats.

Read more at IndustryWeek

Emerging Variants of Concen

In this week’s WHO epidemiological update, the WHO designated the B.1.617 variant as a variant of concern (VOC). The WHO Virus Evolution Working Group has determined that viruses within the B.1.617 lineage, which contains three sublineages, to be VOCs because they appear to be more transmissible, less responsive to some treatments, and less susceptible to antibody neutralization. Additionally, animal models show the B.1.617 variant may cause more severe disease.

As of May 11, more than 4,500 sequences were added to the GISAID database and assigned to B.1.617 from 44 countries in all six WHO regions. At least 5 additional countries have reported detection of the variant. The B.1.617 variant was first reported last year in India and is possibly contributing to the current surge of COVID-19 cases and deaths there. Additional research is needed and ongoing to confirm characteristics of the variant, which is now the dominant strain in India. 

Read more at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

McDonald’s Wages Will Rise

McDonald’s announced it would raise wages, with the average hourly pay at restaurants the company owns rising to $13/hour (the full range is between $11 and $17 per hour.) The hikes come alongside comparable raises from Chipotle, and as a widespread labor shortage at current pay rates has dogged the food industry. However, the raises won’t be automatic at franchised restaurants. 

Read more at Yahoo Finance

April Local Sales Tax Collections Up Nearly 46 Percent From 2020

Local government sales tax collections in April grew by 45.7 percent over the same month in 2020, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced. Collections totaled $1.5 billion, up $464 million from April of last year.

Much of this spike in monthly statewide local sales taxes over last year reflects the extremely weak collections experienced by every region of the state in April 2020, when many businesses were closed. Even so, collections last month were quite strong: when comparing April 2021 to April 2019 (before the pandemic), they increased significantly, up 10.2 percent or $137 million.

Read more at the Comptroller’s website

Martian Rivalry: China Lands Rover, US Flies Ingenuity Helicopter

China landed a spacecraft on Mars for the first time on Saturday, a technically challenging feat more difficult than a moon landing, in the latest step forward for its ambitious goals in space. Plans call for a rover to stay in the lander for a few days of diagnostic tests before rolling down a ramp to explore an area of Mars known as Utopia Planitia. It will join an American rover that arrived at the red planet in February.

NASA shared an amazing 3D video of its Mars helicopter Ingenuity’s third successful flight on the Red Planet. During the little chopper’s third test flight, on April 25, Ingenuity lifted off the Martian surface to a height of 16 feet (5 meters) and flew downrange 164 feet (50 m), hitting a top speed of 4.5 mph (7.2 kph) — its fastest speed yet. Using footage of the flight captured by the Perseverance rover, NASA engineers have rendered the helicopter’s record-breaking flight in 3D, creating the sensation of witnessing the event firsthand.

The Economist Model: Excess Pandemic Deaths Range from 7m-13m Worldwide

The excess-mortality method has failed to provide useful or robust global figures for the simple reason that most countries, and in particular most poor countries, do not provide excess-mortality statistics in a timely fashion. Global estimates have used the official numbers, despite knowing that the figure—currently 3.3m—surely falls well short of the true total.

To try to put numbers on how much of an underestimate it is—and thus on how great the true burden has been—The Economist has attempted to model the level of excess mortality over the course of the pandemic in countries that do not report it. This work gives a 95% probability that the death toll to date is between 7.1m and 12.7m, with a central estimate of 10.2m. The official numbers represent, at best, a bit less than half the true toll, and at worst only about a quarter of it. All told they collected data on 121 indicators for more than 200 countries and territories.

Read and view the interactive tool at The Economist (COVID coverage remains free)