In This Issue
Four Factors to Watch
Infrastructure Stimulus (TBD)
With infrastructure stimulus plan discussions seemingly on hold until the next administration fully takes shape, below are the major investments that are expected to be featured in a Democratic-led infrastructure bill, should one come to pass:
- 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030
- $400 billion for clean energy
- $100 billion to modernize schools
- $50 billion to repairing roads and bridges in first year
- $10 billion for transit; zero-emission public transport
- 6 million buildings and homes upgrade; $300 billion for housing construction
- Investment in water/sewer systems
- Expanded broadband to rural areas
- Banning of new permits for oil and gas drilling on federal land and offshore
- Creation of 1 million jobs in the auto industry and 1 million jobs in construction
- 250,000 jobs in climate-smart ag, resilience, and conservation
COVID-19 Case Numbers
Just last week, we noted the jump of daily COVID cases in the U.S. from 75,000 in September to over 120,000. Heading into last weekend, daily cases in the U.S. eclipsed 180,000. Nearly 11 million people in the U.S. have had confirmed coronavirus infections.
First-time claims for unemployment insurance declined for the fourth straight week, signaling the continued gradual improvement of the labor market. Weekly job claims were down from 757,000 the previous week to 709,000 last week, beating the expectations of top economists by more than 30,000 claims. Weekly claims are nudging town toward the pre-coronavirus pandemic record of 695,000 set in 1982. Continuing claims also fell 436,000 to 6.79 million.
After Pfizer’s announcement last Monday that its vaccine proved to be 90+% effective, emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration is expected relatively soon. The FDA will also likely grant approval for other vaccines when their trials are complete. Moncef Slaoui, the scientific lead on Operation Warp Speed, expects to have 20 million doses of a vaccine ready in December, with another 25-30 million available each following month– a number that could increase over time. Slaoui expects FDA approval before the end of the year for two vaccines. Vaccines are expected to be available to the average American by April.
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