As we did last week, I’d like to provide an update on where we are in the coronavirus crisis. This week, the news has generally been good. The virus continues to come under control, with the growth rate slowing (although the case count has not declined as much). Some states are reopening their economies, which will give us valuable data and should help with employment. Finally, the markets have continued to rally but may have gotten a bit ahead of themselves. Let’s take a closer look.

The virus: Continued progress

Growth rate. As of this writing (April 30, 2020), the daily case growth rate has been below 3 percent per day for four days in a row. This result is down from between 3 percent and 4 percent last week, so it represents continued progress. In fact, we’ve seen the lowest growth rate since the end of February. We continue to be about two weeks behind Italy, which suggests the growth rate will continue to decline in the coming weeks.

Source: Data from worldometer.com

New cases. The new cases have also declined, although in a less steady fashion. Case counts briefly broke below the 25,000 per day level, but they have since bounced back to between 25,000 and 30,000 per day, as a larger base case level has outweighed the slower growth rate. A sustained drop below 25,000 per day is the next milestone. Nonetheless, the downward trend seems reasonably consistent over the past month, suggesting we should see the number of new cases per day continue to inch down.

Source: Data from worldometer.com

Economy: States starting to reopen

Easing of social distancing restrictions. The real progress in controlling the virus has led to talk of easing social distancing restrictions and reopening the economy—and several states have started doing just that. While there are concerns that this shift could lead to faster spread of the virus, that will not be apparent for a few weeks when new infections actually show up in the data. So, a continued decline in the spread of the virus over the next couple of weeks will not be an argument for (or against) any such opening.

Learn more about this firm