By Powerscourt on 19/07/2020
Powerscourt Coronavirus Briefing – 19 July 2020
The World Health Organisation has reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases for the second day in a row with the total rising by 259,848 in 24 hours.
Britain said on Saturday it was suspending its daily coronavirus death toll after concerns were raised that the methodology used in England may exaggerate the true picture. Boris Johnson believes the nation will not need a second lockdown in the event of another COVID-19 outbreak and compared that potential scenario to a “nuclear deterrent”.
In Brussels, talks to agree a €750 billion response to the pandemic have stalled after a second day of sparring in Brussels. The bloc’s 27 leaders will try again today.
Two key indicators of the UK’s economic recovery will be published this week. The Purchasing Managers Index is due on Friday and retail data for June will also be revealed.
UK train operators are considering new season ticket packages designed to encourage commuters back to the office. Great Western Railway is said to be proposing a new three-days-in-seven ticket while another ticket permits travel on any 12 days in the month.
One of the beneficiaries of the coronavirus crisis is cosmetic surgery clinics who are reporting a surge in people having procedures after months of scrutinising their appearance on video calls.
WHAT ARE COMPANIES SAYING?
Consumer & Retail
The UK fashion business has announced that it is cutting 500 jobs in an effort to try and save £6m by the end of the year. The company currently employs 2000 people. 200 of the jobs are expected to be from it’s head office in London, with the remaining 300 jobs from the company’s stores. The Sunday Times reports that the company could face challenges at it’s AGM this week, with CEO Rachel Osborne paid £525,000, 14% more than her predecessor, Lindsay Page. The board has also proposed increasing potential bonuses to 200% of salary.
The Sunday Times report that the UK luxury department store is yet to make a decision on whether or not to make any redundancies. The company posted sales of £91m in the year to the end of March 2019 and pre-tax profits of £2.7m. In an email to employees, the company said the coronavirus crisis would “change the shape . . . of this remarkable business”, adding: “We envisage there may be staff redundancies at all locations.” The email also said “we value each of our employees and their contribution to the business and are doing everything we can to avoid or minimise the number of redundancies.”
Financials & Real Estates
Frederic Janbon, CEO of BNP Paribas Asset Management, has warned of the “mother of all recessions” as the world’s economies feel the impact of the pandemic. In an interview, he said that while his long term outlook remained positive the recent rally in markets was premature and didn’t properly take into account the risks of a second wave of the virus. He said that it has been driven somewhat by smaller investors with a fear of missing out on a spike and that the chances of a so-called ‘V-shaped’ recovery where slim, suggesting that it was more likely to be ‘U-shaped’ for most countries.
IN THE NEWS
G20 falls short on debt relief for poor countries – Financial Times
Boris Johnson exclusive interview: We will not need another national lockdown – Telegraph
The worst is yet to come for ailing restaurants – Sunday Times