As most of the world celebrates Easter, strong signs of economic recovery emerge. Last Friday, with most banks closed, the United States revealed the Non-Farm Payrolls (NFP) numbers for March 2021.
The release exceeded all expectations, showing that the United States economy added close to a million new jobs in only one month. Moreover, the unemployment rate edged down to 6%, a further encouraging sign that the world’s largest economy is recovering from the pandemic.
Furthermore, important revisions to previous data showed that an additional 156k jobs were created in January and February. In total, 1.7 million jobs were added by the United States economy in the first quarter of the year. Because this is the largest economy in the world, the chances are that the positive economic effects will spill over to its main trading partners, fueling a strong economic recovery around the world.
Vaccines Rollout Spurring Economic Growth
Last November, the world found out that science delivered on its efforts to find a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus. For three consecutive weeks, companies like Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, or AstraZeneca, released promising data on their vaccine trials.
Fast forward four months to present times, and the vaccines are rolled out around the world. While differences exist in the vaccination pace, the main idea is that the quicker the governments manage to inoculate the population, the faster the economy recovers, and life will get back to normal.
Supply and distribution disparities exist. The United Kingdom and the United States are leading the developed world, while the Euro area is lagging behind.
It all came down to how fast the nations moved to secure the vaccines and what risks they took in the early days of the pandemic. Europe lost momentum in the first quarter, but things look promising starting with April – in the first day of April, over three million people received a vaccine in Europe, a pace that will likely increase moving forward.
If we add the fiscal stimulus in the United States (i.e., $1.9 trillion) already distributed and the upcoming $3 trillion for long-term infrastructure projects, the chances are that the economic data will beat expectations in the months ahead too.
The currency market acted accordingly and rewarded investors closely watching the vaccination race – the U.S. dollar and the British pound rallied in the last months, while the euro lagged. Moving forward, 2021 might be a year dominated by a risk-on environment as the global economy recovers from the pandemic. The key stays with the vaccination campaigns – the quicker the world’s nations inoculate the population, the better for the economic growth.