Chart of the Week November 20, 2020: COVID-19 GDP and Second Waves


While governments around the world respond to the pandemic with various combinations of focus on health vs. economic costs, even those nations that have managed to recover from the pandemic see their economies continuing to suffer due to global trade decline. This week’s chart compares the weekly new COVID-19 cases per million population, and year-on-year real GDP growth rates of the United States, United Kingdom and Singapore. This chart was presented as a part of ACI’s webinar “What Consumers Want During the Pandemic: A Singapore Perspective” in order to facilitate the understanding of shifting consumer trends.  


  • GDP has been declining globally. In the second quarter of 2020, many countries experienced a sharp double-digit decline in GDP as compared to the same period in 2019. This is particularly attributed to lockdown measures. 
  • The chart shows that one of the benefits of the lockdown measures is that it helps to tame the infection curves.  
  • Countries have been reopening their economies, but many have been experiencing a second or even third wave of infections as economic activities return to normal. 
  • In Singapore, strict policy measures have been successful in flattening the infection curve in the past few months and the nation has been trying to cautiously re-open in phases since June 2020. 

Graphic By Shu En LEE

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