Latest update: 02 December 

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 IMF has revised its 2020 global GDP forecast to -4.4% from an estimate of -4.9% made in June.


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: 15 December 

Vaccine development


The inactivated Covid-19 vaccine from Sinopharm, developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, showed 86% efficacy in a Phase III trial conducted in the United Arab Emirates, according to the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention.


Johnson & Johnson is reducing the number of Phase III trial participants for their Covid-19
vaccine from 60,000 to 40,000.

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 prioritized 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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