The coronavirus disease, COVID-19, has spread rapidly throughout the world since February 2020, following the first outbreak in Wuhan, China, in late-December 2019. It was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020; in response, many countries have implemented containment strategies to help control or slow the spread of the virus. The collateral damage from these measures is that global demand and production have been significantly affected and many economies have ground to a virtual standstill. An important question for economic activity going forward is how the situation will evolve. How rapidly is COVID-19 spreading within and across countries? How long will it take for the pandemic to subside, and when can containment measures be safely loosened? To better understand which stage countries are at in the pandemic, we have developed a “Covid Cycle”—a high-frequency indicator that could help identify the infection and recovery stages of the ASEAN+3 and other economies, and possibly serve as a forward-looking input for analyses and policymaking.

Authors: Anne Oeking, Li Lian Ong, Marthe M. Hinojales