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Economics Update July 2021 - Delta variant: another economic slump unlikely

Bad Homburg, 07/05/2021
by Axel D. Angermann, FERI
  • Rising vaccination progress makes lockdowns increasingly unnecessary
  • Restrictions in services sector slow recovery momentum
  • Ongoing disruptions to international supply chains pose threat to industrial recovery

The delta variant of the Corona virus is increasingly worrying markets. Indeed, this highly contagious viral mutation, against which only full vaccination is likely to provide effective protection, will very soon lead to rising infection rates again, as is already being seen in the UK and Portugal. Whether this could impair the expected recovery of the economy in the second half of the year depends crucially on the further progress of vaccination, because the relevant infection incidence is concentrated essentially on the - successively decreasing - proportion of the total population that has not been fully vaccinated. As vaccination progresses, there is a good chance that drastic lockdown measures can be avoided in the event of a possible fourth wave of infection in autumn 2021. This is also true because it will be difficult to explain to the growing number of fully vaccinated people why retail stores, restaurants or hotels will have to be closed again, even though this part of the population is effectively protected against severe courses of the disease. New lockdowns are therefore likely to be difficult to enforce. Another slump in economic output therefore seems unlikely.

Nevertheless, the momentum of the recovery is likely to be less than previously expected for three reasons.

  • First, the spread of the delta virus variant is accompanied by uncertainties. As a result, sentiment, which is important for a robust upswing, is suffering.
  • Second, further easing is currently difficult to implement politically. As a result, the potential for sales growth in important service sectors remains limited.
  • Thirdly, travel warnings and quarantine regulations are already beginning to weigh heavily on tourism. Growth expectations will therefore have to be revised downwards, especially for the southern European countries, whose upswing in the summer is largely dependent on tourism.

Dependence on international supply chains remains high

In addition, there is the risk of renewed lockdowns due to the highly contagious virus variant in countries with a low proportion of fully vaccinated people. This is the case in Australia, for example, but also in many Asian countries. This not only results in significantly worsened recovery prospects for these countries. The interdependencies in international trade and trade in goods also increase the risk of continuing disruptions in supply chains, which in turn could slow down the economic recovery in European industry and also lead to further price increases for the products concerned.

Overall, the delta variant will have a noticeable negative impact on the economic recovery in Europe, but will probably not lead to a new economic slump. The fact that the markets are nervous is probably mainly due to the fact that a high degree of economic recovery has already been priced in. From a fundamental point of view, however, there is currently no compelling reason for a market crash.


About Axel D. Angermann

As Chief Economist of the FERI Group, Axel D. Angermann analyses the economic and structural developments of all markets that are important for asset allocation. This data forms the basis for the strategic orientation of FERI's asset investments.

Angermann has been responsible for the analyses and forecasts prepared by FERI for the overall economy and individual sectors since 2008. He joined the company in 2002 as an industry analyst. His professional career began at the Max Planck Institute for Economics and the German Chemical Industry Association. Angermann studied economics in Berlin and Bayreuth.


About FERI

Founded in 1987 and headquartered in Bad Homburg, Germany, the FERI Group has developed into one of the leading investment houses in the German-speaking area. FERI offers tailor-made solutions for institutional investors, family assets and trusts in the following areas:  

The FERI Cognitive Finance Institute was formed in 2016. It is the strategic research centre and creative think tank of the FERI Group. The Institute focuses on innovative analyses and the development of methods for long-term oriented economic and capital market research. 

FERI and MLP currently manage assets of EUR 48.2 billion, including EUR 12.2 billion in alternative investments. The FERI Group is headquartered in Bad Homburg and has offices in Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Luxembourg, Munich, Vienna and Zurich.



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Rathausplatz 8-10

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Corporate Strategy, Marketing and Communications

T +49 (0) 6172 916-3192
F +49 (0) 6172 916-1192
presse@feri.de

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Rathausplatz 8-10
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Member of the Management Board
Corporate Strategy, Marketing and Communications

T +49 (0) 6172 916-3192
F +49 (0) 6172 916-1192
presse@feri.de

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D-61348 Bad Homburg

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