Covid-19 Infographics – REFSA

COMMENTARY

Covid-19 Infographics

Faced with daunting economic consequences of the social distancing measures in place to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic, governments around the world are announcing stimulus packages for their economies, amounting to unprecedented sizes.

This tracker aims to keep up to date with major announcements across a selected list of countries (which may be expanded over time), and compares the different stimulus packages to each other at a high level.

Updated: APR 7, 2020

 

INFOGRAPHICS 5:  UPDATED ANNOUNCED GOVERNMENT STIMULUS IN % OF GDP, BY COUNTRY (AS AT 6 APRIL 2020)

Chart A: Nominal GDP Chart showing total stimulus package announced by government thus far.

The nominal amounts are taken directly from the government announcements or related news reports, and converted in USD in order to be able to compare. They do not attempt to “normalise” the different packages, so some of the amounts included here may not amount to the government taking on extra risk or extra liabilities.

Chart B: Adjusted GDP Chart showing total fiscal measures within the stimulus package announced by government thus far.

In order to try and gauge the effect of the stimulus packages on the economy, we attempt to normalise the packages across countries, by eliminating measures that do not form a liability (contingent or actual) for the government now or in the future.

Our reasoning is that a measure where the risk falls elsewhere than the government will not have as powerful an effect to stimulate the economy, due to agents’ expectations. For example, imposing a loan moratorium on banks without compensating the banks for the lost revenue may cause them to cut costs by reducing employment, which will exert downward pressure on the economy, due to the lost income.

Chart C: Stimulus vs Stringency Plot Chart

Different countries have responded to the epidemic with different levels of social distancing. It stands to reason that the stricter the social distancing measures, the more the economy will suffer. Hence, stimulus packages should be greater in size in those countries with stricter measures.

The Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University has launched a research project to measure the overall stringency of measures aimed at halting the spread of Covid-19. We combine the overall stringency index for the countries included in this analysis with the size of their overall stimulus package measured in percentage of GDP, in order to plot whether this relationship holds.

APR 7, 2020
 

On Monday, both Malaysia and Singapore announced further measures to stimulate their economies, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the far-reaching social distancing measures. We updated our stimulus trackers in response, presented with some notes below:

1) The additional RM 10bn the Malaysian government committed to support SME’s and micro-businesses is a welcome step and goes in the right direction. From Chart A it’s clear that, at face value, the Malaysian stimulus package is one of the largest. See Nominal GDP Chart.

2) However, when digging deeper, RM 100bn in the Malaysian package is borne by the banks, and RM 40bn is the rakyat’s money (EPF savings), so these have a smaller stimulus effect. Adjusting the numbers to take this into account, the relative size of the package changes significantly. See Chart B: Adjusted GDP Chart.

3) On the other hand, the extra SGD 5bn Singapore announced is all cash injected by the government. Singapore’s stimulus package is almost two thirds new cash, whereas Malaysia’s is only about a third.

4) In addition, we should also consider the strictness of the social distancing measures. The stricter, the greater the impact on the economy. Researchers at the Blavatnik School designed a “stringency index” to measure the strictness.

5) Mapping this stringency index on the stimulus sizes (in % of GDP) yields Chart C: Stimulus vs Stringency plot chart. Countries with stricter social distancing are further to the right, bigger stimulus packages are higher on the chart.

6) The plot chart does not yet include the stricter measures announced last week in Singapore, but the bulk of the stimulus was announced in February, so it confirms the outlier nature of Singapore’s stimulus.

7) OTOH, Malaysia’s adjusted package ranks quite low compared to countries with similarly strict measures. Therefore we repeat our call for gov’t to increase the support to businesses further, from SME’s to self-employed. Better to do too much than too little at this point.

 

INFOGRAPHICS 4:  ANNOUNCED FISCAL STIMULUS IN % OF GDP, BY COUNTRY (AS AT 27 MARCH 2020)

MAC 28, 2020
 
We updated our chart after the announcement of the second stimulus package yesterday. More detail on implementation is required, but at first sight it looks somewhat underwhelming in terms of fiscal stimulus.
 

The largest component is the loan moratorium, which seemingly will end up being financed by BNM, and thus not included here. The RM40bn withdrawal from EPF is the contributors’ own money and hence not a fiscal stimulus either.

We included the RM50bn Danajamin allocation, since the government will eventually bear the risk on these guarantees, similar to France and the UK, for example.

Even with this relatively small pure fiscal stimulus, the public debt level will breach the symbolic 55% ceiling,so fiscal prudence is jeopardised anyway in the eyes of sovereign rating agencies, for what it’s worth.

Given the exceptional context, we still advocate for markedly higher fiscal stimulus of approx RM75bn, and increase in government loan guarantees to RM75bn, for a total of RM150bn or 10% of GDP. This would result in a package comparable to those seen in other economies.

 

INFOGRAPHCIS 3:  ANNOUNCED FISCAL STIMULUS IN % OF GDP, BY COUNTRY (AS AT 23 MARCH 2020)

MAC 24, 2020
 
To overcome this economic crisis caused by Covid-19, countries around the world are preparing stimulus packages to help their economy, often committing unprecedented sums. Here’s a quick comparison of what’s been announced so far by country, in relation to their GDP.
 
As we explained in a commentary note yesterday, we think measures of this scale are justified, given the quasi-wartime situation we find ourselves in.
 

 

INFOGRAPHICS 2:  COMBAT COVID-19 THROUGH A WHOLE-OF-SOCIETY APPROACH

MAC 21, 2020
 
To fight the virus outbreak we need to flatten the curve. Let’s each do our part, together.
 
Stay Safe, and stay informed!

 

 
抗新冠病毒,人人都扮演关键角色。让我们实行“整体社会“方针,同心协力,共同抗疫。
 
确保自身安全,接收正确资讯。

 

 
Untuk melawan Covid-19. kita perlu menurunkan lengkuk. Sama-sama kita memainkan peranan bersama.
 
Kekal Selamat, Sentiasa Dimaklumkan

 

Infographics 1:  NUMBER OF COVID-19 CASES IN MALAYSIA AND ITALY

MAC 20, 2020
 
This chart compares the number of recorded COVID-19 cases in Malaysia and Italy. Malaysia’s pattern of recorded cases followed closely to that of Italy in the early days.

Although the increases are not as big, there are still many cases in Malaysia yet to be traced and tested at this time.

In order to avoid drastic increases in cases, it is important to practice social distancing, stay home, in order to flatten the curve, before it’s too late. We must do everything we can prevent M’sia going the “Italian way”.

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