Pandemic and economy enter new phase

Despite all the setbacks, the performance of economic activity in the second half of the year remains favorable. The process of economic reopening continues to advance, as urban mobility normalizes without increasing the number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths. On the contrary, the progress of vaccination has allowed a more secure reopening of the economy, without losing control of the pandemic.

On September 19, the seven-day moving average number of new cases hovered around 19,000 per day, while the moving average figure for deaths was 560, according to Worldometer – a relatively low level, similar to that observed in November 2020. The average intensive care unit occupancy rate also continues to fall, in- dicating that the pandemic has been overcome, despite risks related to the Delta variant. For the time being at least, all the signs are favorable and the risks seem contained. The pandemic is also under control in advanced economies, helping the world economy continue to recover this half year.

As highlighted in the previous edition of IBRE’s Macro Bulletin, the world is entering a new phase, less fri-ghtening than at the height of the pandemic, but less promising than that of the first half. Each step of this long journey has new challenges and, as a result, there is a lot of volatility and uncertainty in these transitions. Here, the challenge of dismantling huge and innovative stimulus programs adopted by the fiscal and monetary authorities is combined with that of dealing with the problems that hampered the economy before the pandemic, and which are once again gaining prominence as the pandemic fades from the scene.

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