Compared to last week, there have been few changes to the big picture narrative: Thanks to the virus containment efforts enacted by its government, China’s labour force is only now slowly returning to work following an unusually extended Lunar New Year break. But most importantly, factories have restarted, even if at lower output levels than their trading partners would have banked on at the beginning of the calendar year. Because of the global supply chain interdependencies, and the temporary fall in Chinese demand, the resulting slowdown in industrial activity around the world is increasingly seen as a delay to the expected 2020 economic recovery. The upswing is unlikely to come in the first quarter, perhaps not even in the second, but after that activity levels are likely to jump up in the second half of the year.
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