While the Delta variant continues to loom over Canada, the number of Covid-19 cases in other major economies is declining, clearing the way for a global rebound, says Moody’s Investors Service.
In a new report, the rating agency said that recent Covid-19 trends “bode well” for the global recovery, with new caseloads now declining in most major advanced economies, which should facilitate a rise in service sector activity and support overall economic recovery.
As public health authorities have adapted their responses to the pandemic, the economic damage from each wave of new infections has decreased, Moody’s said.
“Increasing vaccinations and improving pandemic management should further reduce the need for economically damaging lockdowns, help reduce economic uncertainty and facilitate the return of most major economies to a post-pandemic normal level of activity over the next one to two years,” it said.
Caseloads are still rising in Canada, but infection rates remain much lower than in the U.S. on a per capita basis. And in the U.S., new infections are starting to decline from their recent peak at the end of August, the report said.
Moody’s noted that there’s a good deal of variation by state in the U.S., but that rates are declining in most states. “Among states with large economies, new cases have sharply declined since the end of August in Florida, and have stabilized in California and New York,” it said.
In Europe, Moody’s reported that cases are declining in France and Italy, are stable in Germany and rising in the U.K.
“Given high vaccination rates in several advanced economies, including the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and across the European Union, and the vaccines’ high efficacy in suppressing severe disease and fatalities, we expect the Covid-19 case rates and mobility in these countries to improve,” Moody’s said.
Cases are also down “considerably” in Japan, and have edged lower from their peak in Korea, it reported.
In emerging markets, new cases have “fallen sharply” in Argentina, Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa, Moody’s reported, and they’ve started declining in Mexico too.
“At this time, the risks of the Delta variant on growth are mainly concentrated in Asia, where vaccinations are lagging and public authorities’ tolerance for Covid-19 infections is low,” it said.
Yet, Moody’s said it expects “all major G-20 emerging market economies to progressively reduce restrictions and reopen over the course of this year and next as vaccine availability becomes more widespread.”