Latest update: 08 January 

Many economists have cut their GDP forecasts. The 2020 consensus forecast for GDP growth is currently negative and many predict a recession.

The unemployment rate in South Africa reached a 17-year high of 30.8% in Q3 2020 as people started looking for jobs following the easing of coronavirus restrictions.


The 2021 real GDP growth of the US has been revised to 4.3% from 3.96%.


US real GDP grew by an annualised 33.1% in Q3 2020 according to the Commerce Department. 

Impact of Covid-19 on equity indices


Latest update: 12 January 

Vaccine development


Sinovac’s inactivated Covid-19 vaccine CoronaVac showed an efficacy of 78% according to investigators from the Butantan Institute, which is conducting the Brazilian Phase III trial with 13,000 participants. 


In a global study with 800 critically ill Covid-19 patients that were enrolled within 24 hours of starting organ support in intensive care, the IL-6 inhibitors tocilizumab (Roche’s Actemra) and sarilumab (Sanofi/Regeneron’s Kevzara) reduced mortality rates by 8.5% (27.3% in treatment group, 35.8% in control group). 

vaccine approvals

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorised Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in individuals ages 16 and older late on Friday 11 December, making it the first Covid-19 vaccine to roll out in the US.

The decision came after the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee to the FDA discussed Pfizer and BioNTech’s Phase III vaccine data and voted 17-4 (with one abstain) to recommend the vaccine for EUA on 10 December.

Vaccination started on 15 December, with an intensive care unit nurse in Queens being the first recipient of Pfizer/BioNTech's vaccine. Healthcare workers and elderly residents of long-term care homes are prioritised to be the first vaccine recipients, although states will decide individually on which groups to vaccinate first.

Key pharma market developments

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