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VP Bank Corona-Crisis-Barometer: Activity level declines

Dr. Thomas Gitzel, Chief Economist
Reading time: 3 Min
Third wave also noticeable in the USA

Crisis Barometer

Last updated: April 14, 2021

One might rub one's eyes in amazement. While around the globe leading economic indicators are rising to lofty heights - also in the USA - the VP Bank-Corona crisis barometer is on a retreat. The crisis barometer measures the activity level of the US economy very sensitively. Even regionally different economic developments are captured in a manner similar to a seismograph. In fact, the US is also being hit by another Corona wave. Nationally, the number of new daily infections is rising only slowly, but the situation is different in the Midwest, where Corona cases are reaching new highs. It is precisely there that a declining demand for electricity can be reported, which has a correspondingly negative effect on our barometer. 

But also the number of restaurant visits and passenger traffic at US airports have not improved recently. So even though there is an almost euphoric mood regarding further economic development, our crisis barometer advises caution.

A note on our own behalf: the VP Bank Crisis Barometer is now almost a year old. Since then, we have been measuring US activity levels on a weekly basis. The acute economic woes of the past year are over. Particularly in the USA, significant progress has been made in the area of vaccination, which should ensure a return to some degree of normality in the coming weeks and months. This means, however, that new abrupt slumps in the economy are no longer to be expected. The need for a timely measurement of the US activity level is fortunately diminishing. For this reason, we are changing the measurement of the crisis barometer from a weekly to a fortnightly rhythm.

On the barometer: The measures taken to control the spread of the coronavirus have been drastic. The global economy is severely impaired, resulting in an unprecedented drop in gross
domestic product (GDP). The question is now, how fast the economy will rebound if the restrictions are lifted.

The VP Bank Corona Crisis Barometer tracks how well the economy is recovering.

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