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COVID-19 Updates: June 26

June 26, 2020
New Record Infection Rates in U.S.; Recession Likely Worse Than Expected, Says IMF; Manufacturing Situation Improved in June

According to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, the rate of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases has reached a new high in June. The medical school reported 34,700 new cases in one day, beating April’s record of 36,400. The Associated Press reported that Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma all broke new records for cases confirmed in a single day. In testimony to Congress, Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said the next few weeks are “critical” for preventing further spreading of the virus.

At press time, the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine was reporting 2,424,054 active cases in the United States. The University attributes 124,468 deaths to the novel coronavirus and says that 663,562 people have recovered.

Pandemic Trough May Be Deeper Than Feared, but Manufacturing Recovering

The International Monetary Fund updated its April pandemic predictions on June 24, saying that the original results were not severe enough. The IMF now says the global economy will contract by almost 5% over the course of the year, and that advanced economies like the United States will see GDP fall 8%. “Although brief, the downturn has been fiercer than anything seen previously, leaving a deep scar which will take a long time to heal," said Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at IHS Markit. Read the full story here.

The national Federal Reserve Bank and two of its regional counterparts report that sentiment in manufacturing is growing as businesses begin to hit their post-lockdown strides. Although the national industrial production rate remains below what was seen in February, output rose 3.8% in May, and capacity utilization in manufacturing rose 2.2 points to 62.2%. Read the full story here.

The Society for Human Resource Management issued a survey in which 52% of small businesses said they expected to recover pre-pandemic profitability within six months. Of those allowed to reopen, 81% have already begun to do so. SHRM CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., said in a statement that the research “underscores how small businesses have truly proven their agility and flexibility.” Read the full story here.

Treatment and Vaccines

The National Association of Manufacturers announced a new ad campaign tying face masks directly to the economy. NAM CEO Jay Timmons, in a statement, said those who refuse to wear masks “condemn their fellow citizens to long-term unemployment and our economy to disaster.” The campaign is set to run in several key manufacturing states, including Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. Read the full story here.

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