A lot has happened with Covid case counts and vaccine deployment since we last published our forecasts in mid-March. Fortunately, the troubling case surges, severe lockdowns, and slow vaccine rollouts that characterized the transition from the first to the second quarter have since given way to much more encouraging developments. Over a fifth of the world’s population has received at least one vaccine dose, up from 3.0% in mid-March. The European Union, in particular, is quickly closing the gap with the US, reinforcing our upside-to-consensus view on European growth this year.
Interestingly, our global growth forecasts have changed very little (up two tenths of a percentage point, to be precise) since March. There are two reasons for this. We’ve made little to no change to our European growth forecasts, having already called for robust growth in the last update. And while we raised our 2021 US growth forecast, we remain below consensus due to concerns around supply chain disruptions, delayed normalization of services, and drags from foreign trade.