The numbers of contagion in Italy are still rising: in all, since the beginning of the epidemic 41,035 people have contracted the Sars-CoV-2 virus and the victims are 3,405, 427 more than the day before. And Premier Conte anticipates the extension of the total blockade and the closure of schools. Meanwhile, the government is considering banning outdoor sports and reducing shop opening hours.

On the international front, for the first time since the epidemic China has not recorded any cases of “domestic” contagion and Wuhan is released from quarantine. The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide exceeded 200,000.

Lombardy remains the region of Italy most affected by the epidemic. Below are the data updated to Thursday 19 March, with tables showing an increase in “new_current_positives” and “total_hospitalized”.

COVID-19 – ITALY

COVID-19 – LOMBARDY

COVID-19 – ITALY CHART

COVID-19 – LOMBARDY CHART

COVID-19: GDP estimates Italy
The impact of the coronavirus epidemic in our country is likely to be very serious for our economy. The latest estimates come from Ref Ricerche, which has significantly revised downwards the estimated contraction of Italian GDP in the first half of the year to -8 per cent (from -1/-3% indicated above).
The fall only concerns with this intensity the last part of the first quarter, which could close with a decrease of 3 per cent on the fourth 2019, and fully manifest itself in the second, when the fall would be another 5 per cent on the first quarter”. A rebound is possible, according to the Ref, starting from the third quarter.

COVID-19: The German plan
The German Government would be working to create a support fund for companies in difficulty of around EUR 500 billion. Der Spiegel reports this, pointing out that the plan would provide not only direct capital but also guarantees for activities impacted by the coronavirus crisis. The project would take up the model of the Special Market Stabilisation Fund, created by Germany to help banks in the 2008 financial crisis.

US GDP: Maxi downgrade by Goldman Sachs
Experts have cut the outlook on gross domestic product growth with a maxi downgrade, from a previously expected -5% drop to a 24% drop.
Goldman Sachs analysts motivated the new outlook with the fact that US economic data (particularly manufacturing data) is already disappointing estimates.
And the problem is that these data refer to the period when Americans had not yet locked themselves indoors to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Five days ago, Goldman Sachs analysts had just cut US GDP estimates. So in the note:

“Fear of the virus leads consumers to continue to cut travel, entertainment and restaurant bills. The emerging supply chain disruptions and the recent tightening of financial conditions will deal another blow to growth. (…) We expect real GDP growth of zero percent in the first quarter (from previously estimated +0.7%), a contraction of 5% in the second quarter (from zero), an expansion of 3% in the third quarter (from previous +1%) and 4% in the fourth quarter” with further strong increases (of GDP) in early 2021. This leads to a downward revision of our forecasts for GDP in 2020 from +1.2% before to +0.4%”…

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