"A W-Shaped Epidemic Is Now Emerging As Our Expected Case Forecast"

Submitted by Stephen Kopits of Princeton Energy Advisors

Here's our weekly update on pandemic numbers in Italy and the US.

Italy

In general, Italy continues to come in at expectations.  However, new cases have picked up, running almost double expectations of a week ago.  We had noted the difficulties of forecasting the ultimate taper of new cases.  Reducing these will take longer than expected, and our model suggests that new cases in Italy will not fall below 100 until June 22nd, 14 days later than our expectations of just one week ago.  And this could easily be pushed out again.

USA

The US continues to underperform badly in some areas. Total confirmed cases have reached 1.75 million.  

Deaths at 103,000 continue to run just about at expectations, as they have for weeks.  The death rate continues to come in just below expectations.

New confirmed cases continue to look terrible. We projected 11,300 cases for May 30; the actual was 25,300, 125% above forecast over just a week's horizon.  US containment efforts are visibly failing.  As a result, the forecast date for new cases coming in below 1000 has been pushed back an alarming 40 days to July 29th. 

The forecast for new cases below 100 has been pushed out 56 days to August 28th.  The US may enter the new flu season beginning in late September with new cases still in the thousands.   Thus, there will be limited lifting of social distancing practices and very possibly a resumption of tighter lockdowns in the fall as a new outbreak flares. 

A "W"-shaped epidemic is now emerging as our expected case forecast, with the economic and social consequences implied.