Weekly Client Update – Friday 23rd July

Local update

The Island’s government this week reintroduced measures to combat the rising number of Covid cases.

From Wednesday 21 July, Islanders over the age of 12 must wear masks when entering an indoor public space. The requirement to wear masks in public indoor spaces where physical distancing and other measures cannot be guaranteed is one of a number of public health measures that, according to  Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 and minimise its spread in the community. This makes mask-use compulsory in supermarkets, shops, post offices, banks, on public transport, in health care settings and when using close-contact services such as hairdressers and beauticians.

The deputy added “Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Jersey, it has been deemed appropriate to bring mandatory mask wearing back into practice “We are doing all we can to protect Islanders and our health care system, while also keeping the island functioning as far as possible. Masks remain a very effective means in minimising the transmission of COVID-19 While we have seen a rise in cases over the past two weeks, it is important to remember the effect our vaccination programme has had on the Island. As of 14 July, over 72,000 Islanders have had at least one dose which is a tremendous figure. The COVID-19 vaccine offers good protection against the virus and I continue to urge everyone to book their slot if they have yet to do so.”

An exemption certificate will be available for people whose health conditions mean they cannot safely wear masks. Application forms will be available online and from a number of agreed public locations, like parish halls, larger supermarkets and the bus station.

Additionally, as of today  (Tuesday 20 July), 57,631 Covid Status Certification letters have been sent out to fully vaccinated Islanders. This equates to approximately 97% of all fully vaccinated Islanders. Head of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, Becky Sherrington, said: “Jersey’s Vaccination Programme is world-leading, and our uptake among eligible Islanders continues to grow week on week. The Time is Running Out campaign was successful as we saw another 4,955 Islanders coming forward for their first doses within just four weeks of the campaign. “Those Islanders will receive an automatic invitation for their second dose and will be fully vaccinated by the middle of August, so they can enjoy the summer knowing they have afforded themselves good protection. Young Islanders continue to show enormous enthusiasm coming forward for their vaccines, as of Wednesday 14 July, almost 60% of Islanders aged 18-29 received a first dose.

The vaccine centre at Fort Regent will be opening its doors for first dose walk-in appointments next week, between Monday 26 July and Sunday 1 August, at designated hours of the day. This is the first time that Islanders will be able to attend the vaccine centre for their first dose without an appointment scheduled.

As of yesterday, Jersey had 3,088 known Covid cases and 12,992 islanders have currently been contact traced, 10 people are in hospital with the disease.

Mixed markets

It’s been an up and down week in financial markets. European shares finished higher, driven by strong corporate earnings and optimism over economic recovery from the pandemic and after the European Central Bank maintained a ‘dovish’ stance on policy at its latest policy meeting.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index added 0.56% to 456.53 with the German Dax up 0.6% to 15,514.54 alongside Spain’s Ibex 35 0.64% higher to 8,621.8.

The FTSE 100 ended the day on Thursday  down 0.43% at 6,968.30, while the FTSE 250 was 0.6% firmer at 22,677.28.

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.1% in its worst session of 2021 before rallying as the week progressed. The cause was cited as fears that the spread of the Delta variant could force countries to lock down their economies again. US Stocks have stabilised over the past three days.

Travel stocks on the rise but global commodities in short supply

Travel stocks are finally on the rise on hopes of holiday markets opening up for the rest of the summer. British Airways owner IAG, budget carriers Ryanair and EasyJet and cruise line operator Carnival all gained in value this week.

Consumer goods giant Unilever shares were 5.9% lower after it cut its full-year operating margin forecast due to surging commodity costs that have been fuelled by slow down in the supply chain caused by the pandemic

UK economy clouded by rising Covid cases

Sterling was stronger against its major trading pairs, last sitting 0.26% higher on the dollar at $1.3749, and gaining 0.43% against the euro to change hands at €1.1680.

The outlook for the UK remains clouded by rising Covid cases  and large numbers of people isolating due to being ‘contact traced’ which has become known as the “Pingdemic”  This is threatening to undermine UK business at a time when it should be benefiting from the nation’s reopening.

Business data issued this week showed UK factory output rising at a joint-record pace over the last three months, although worries about shortages of materials and labour were at their highest since the 1970s.

Manufacturing output increased in 16 of 17 sub sectors with volumes rising at the joint-fastest pace on record in the three months to July as the economy began to return to growth. The growth was led by carmakers and transport equipment, as well as food, drink and tobacco.

Total new orders rose at the quickest rate since 1974 as domestic orders grew at the fastest pace on record and export orders registered their first increase since January 2019.

“Record growth in manufacturing output volumes is further evidence that UK industry is reawakening following the economic ravages of the pandemic,” said CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith.

“Demand is rising rapidly, leading businesses to hire more staff and plan further investment in plant and machinery and training. However acute staff shortages are evident across the economy, partly caused by Brexit but also due to the high numbers of people isolating.

And finally

 ‘Crocs’ make a pandemic comeback

 From the Oscars to the Love Island fire pit – there’s no doubt Crocs have made a pandemic comeback. On Thursday, the chunky shoe-maker reported record sales of $640m (£465m) in the three months to 30 June – nearly double the same period last year. And the trend shows no sign of slowing down as the firm raised its revenue outlook for the rest of the year. Its chief executive, Andrew Rees, now expects revenue for 2021 to rise by as much as 65%,

“We continue to see strong consumer demand for the Crocs brand globally,” Mr Rees said. People have turned to the footwear company for foamy clogs to pair with their lockdown outfits. Boosted by customers staying at home, the Colorado-based firm said on Thursday that digital sales were up 25.4% and make up more than a third of total sales.

 So now you know what people are wearing on their feet during those endless lockdown zoom calls but it’s ok because it’s ‘trendy’.