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Daily Briefing – 333

Post: Jun. 29, 2021

Biden Touts Bipartisan Infrastructure: ‘This is a Generational Investment’

President Joe Biden argued in Wisconsin on Tuesday that the bipartisan infrastructure proposal he agreed to last week would benefit working and middle-class families around the country. Biden said: “This is a generational investment… to modernize our infrastructure, creating millions of good-paying jobs … and positions America to compete with the rest of the world in the 21st century, because China is way outworking us in terms of infrastructure.”

The fate of the infrastructure package in Congress remains uncertain. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last week the House won’t take up the bipartisan infrastructure bill until the Senate passes the Families Plan through budget reconciliation, which would only require Democratic votes. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called on Democrats to back off of that plan and warned both efforts could collapse if they carry through with Pelosi’s goal.

Read more at CNN

Home Prices Surged in April

Home prices in April saw an annual gain of 14.6% in April, up from a 13.3% increase in March, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index.

Among larger cities covered by the index, the 10-city composite was up 14.4% year over year, from 12.9% the previous month. The 20-city composite was 14.9% higher, up from 13.4% in March. “April’s performance was truly extraordinary. The 14.6% gain in the National Composite is literally the highest reading in more than 30 years of S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller data,” said Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Read more at CNBC

Fed Officials: Employment Still Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

U.S. economic growth “has come roaring back” and some metrics including consumption, housing, and manufacturing are now “extremely healthy,” Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker said during a virtual event as part of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum.

While some workers are seeing their incomes rise, there are still nearly 7.6 million fewer people working than before the pandemic, he said. The jobs hole grows to 10.6 million jobs if you factor in the job growth taking place before the pandemic, when the economy was adding about 200,000 jobs a month, Harker said.

Read more at Reuters

NIH Study: COVID-19 Prevalence Far Exceeded Known Early Pandemic Cases

In a new study, National Institutes of Health researchers report that the prevalence of COVID-19 in the United States during spring and summer of 2020 far exceeded the known number of cases and that infection affected the country unevenly.

For every diagnosed COVID-19 case in this time frame, the researchers estimate that there were 4.8 undiagnosed cases, representing an additional 16.8 million cases by July alone. The team’s analysis of blood samples from people who did not have a previously diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infection, along with socioeconomic, health, and demographic data, offers insight into the undetected spread of the virus and subgroup vulnerability to undiagnosed infection.

Read more at the NIH

NYS Vaccine and COVID Update 

Vaccine Stats as of Tuesday morning:

One Vaccine Dose

  • 59.7% of all New Yorkers – 11,496,862 (plus 20,145 from a day earlier) 
  • In the Hudson Valley 1,221,532 (plus 2,015) 

Fully Vaccinated

  • 53.7% of all New Yorkers – 10,480,589 are fully vaccinated (Plus 24,933)
  • In the Hudson Valley – 1,103,949 (plus 2,467) are fully vaccinated. 

The Governor  updated COVID data through Monday June 28th.   There were 3 COVID related deaths for a total of 42,967. 


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 362

Seven Day Average Positivity Rate:

  • Statewide 0.39%
  • Mid-Hudson: 0.34%

Useful Websites:

US COVID Update – U.S. Poised to Fall Behind Europe on Vaccine First Doses

Some European Union countries, including Italy, Denmark and Belgium, have already passed the U.S. by the number of people who have received at least one vaccine dose, according to figures compiled by Our World in Data, an Oxford University project tracking the global vaccine rollout. 

A quick vaccine rollout is key for keeping infection rates down and deaths to a minimum, and opens the prospects to a faster economic rebound. The speed with which people are vaccinated has become even more critical in recent weeks as the highly transmissible Delta variant spreads rapidly across Europe, threatening to upend progress made in lowering the infection rate and the economy’s rebound.

Read more at the WSJ

WHO: Global Community Should Mask Up, Share Vaccines

Rising coronavirus cases in Africa and the continuing spread of the delta variant have created a dangerous situation that can only be addressed if wealthy countries share vaccine supplies with poorer countries, says World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, calling on developed countries to “just give us the vaccines.”

The WHO is also urging people to continue to wear masks and socially distance, whether they are vaccinated or not.

Read more at U.S. News & World Report

Africa: Concern Grows over Third Wave of Infections

The WHO says the number of cases and deaths in Africa has increased by almost 40% in the past week, and in some countries the number of deaths has tripled or quadrupled. Cases are on an upward trend in at least 12 countries with Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Zambia, Rwanda and Tunisia among the countries worst affected.

“This is driven by a mix of public fatigue, social mixing, ineffective use of public health and social measures, and vaccine inequity, and the spread of new variants,” according to WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. As of 20 June, which is 48 days in to the new wave, Africa had recorded around 474,000 new cases – a figure 21% higher than the increase for the same period in the second wave.

Read more at the BBC

More From the Deloitte CEO Survey – Travel and Real Estate

In the latest Deloitte CEO poll half the CEOs responding said they plan to reduce their real estate spending over the next twelve months. Only 10% see an increase. Why spend money on big city real estate if your employees are spending half their work time at home?

But on business travel, the message is more mixed. Some 55% see an increase in travel costs over the next 12 months, while only 28% see a decrease. That, of course, could mainly reflect depressed travel levels during the pandemic. But both airline and hospitality CEOs say they see signs pointing to a much more rapid business travel recovery than generally expected.

Read more at Fortune

Defining the Skills Citizens Will Need in the Future World of Work

Research by the McKinsey Global Institute has looked at the kind of jobs that will be lost, as well as those that will be created, as automation, AI, and robotics take hold. And it has inferred the type of high-level skills that will become increasingly important as a result.

The need for manual and physical skills, as well as basic cognitive ones, will decline, but demand for technological, social and emotional, and higher cognitive skills will grow. Some work will, of course, be specialized. But in a labor market that is more automated, digital, and dynamic, all citizens will benefit from having a set of foundational skills that help them fulfill the following three criteria, no matter the sector in which they work or their occupation:

  • Add value beyond what can be done by automated systems and intelligent machines
  • Operate in a digital environment
  • Continually adapt to new ways of working and new occupations

Read the results

UBS Survey – CEO’s Wary of Remote Work

UBS said last week that a survey of 675 senior executives across the UK and Europe found more leaders want to get staff back in the office full-time. “European CEOs’ support for WFH is eroding, ie 40% expect a full workweek in the office from their staff over the next 2-5 years (+3 points vs December),” UBS analysts wrote in a note sent to clients.

The survey found 88% think productivity suffers when people work from home. However the attitude of US banks contrasts sharply with the tech sector, where leaders have been far more relaxed about letting staff work remotely. Twitter (TWTR) last year introduced a “work from anywhere” policy and Facebook (FB) chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has said he plans to work remotely for at least half of the next year.

Read more at Yahoo Finance

United Airlines Places Biggest Ever Jet Order in Push for Growth

United Airlines confirmed its largest-ever order for Boeing and Airbus jets on Tuesday, lining up 270 planes in a push for post-pandemic growth with bigger jets for domestic flying. The order for 200 Boeing 737 MAX and 70 Airbus A321neo jets, worth $30 billion at list prices, will boost United’s seating capacity across it domestic network by almost 30%, allowing it to better compete for both premium and low-cost travel.

The deal builds momentum for planemakers seeking to turn the page on the COVID-19 pandemic that ravished global travel and signals a strong bet on a recovery in hard-hit business travel.

Read more at Reuters