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Did anyone else feel that “Freedom Day” was just the same as any other recent “pandemic day”?
I guess the Government is trying to be ultra cautious whilst in theory handing back some of the things that they took away from us. Cases seem to have taken off again and are rising dramatically with the overwhelming majority of new cases in the 15-19 and 20-24 age groups. There is some good news, hospitalisations are down. For example County Durham has one of the highest infection rates in England at 818.2 per 100,000 of population (average for England - 470.4 per 100,000) but only 59 people hospitalised with only 7 of those in intensive care (as at 20 July 2021). There has only been 1 death involving Covid in County Durham since the end of April (source: Durham County Council 20/07/2021).
So does this mean that the vaccine rollout has worked? Do we need more data? If the data confirms that the risk of serious illness and death is much reduced do we then return to normal?
Many people are still anxious and continue to take precautions, equally a large number of businesses seem to have taken the decision to proceed with caution, there appears to be a reluctance nationally to move back into the office.
And the market is jittery... we witnessed big falls yesterday in all of the major indices globally and modest gains today. Our view (and that of the fund management groups we speak to) remains positive for a continued recovery. However, there are risks; another Coronavirus variant, inflation and tightening of monetary policy globally to name a few.
It's conceivable that a new dominant variant could emerge however the continuation of the successful vaccine rollouts globally should help.
It is the view of most of the investment groups that any inflation will be transitory and created mainly by pent up demand.
Central banks have indicated that although they may slow down asset purchases and quantitative easing, there appears to be an unwillingness to raise interest rates in the short to medium term.
So in short... we are experiencing a third wave. Hopefully the vaccine will protect us and our economy will continue to recover. It will be a bumpy ride but as always the next few weeks will be telling.
I wish you well for the summer, maybe you’ll be able to travel abroad or decide to enjoy a staycation. Whatever your choice, I hope you have a relaxing time. As always if you have any questions or queries we are on hand to help. Just call us on the usual number 0800 0438341 or email email@example.com
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