Economy Coming Back: Worst of Shutdowns Over
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The economy slowly starting to come back, and hopefully the worst of the shutdown is over for the first time since forced shutdowns began in March spending on hotels, restaurants, airlines are picking up while there is some uncertainty going forward with high unemployment and consumer spending. We're hoping that we have hit peak economic loss. Harriet Tori economics reporter for the Wall Street? Journal joins US for more. Thanks for joining US Harriet. High wanted to talk about the economy this past week, and it just seemed like everybody was really starting to try to get back to normal. As we've been going through this coronavirus pandemic, the first thing we were looking for was hitting that peak of number of cases now it seems like we're hitting that peak as far as peak economic damage, those peak economic losses and things. Things are starting to reopen. It seems like we're starting to get a little bit of good news on their front. Although we are still expecting some type of slow recovery to get back to the way, we were so Harriet, tell us a little bit about it. What are we seeing as good indicators right now? The official days that we get from the US government we. We get the lack of sort of four to six weeks, so we didn't have anything really much yet to say that. We've seen this official from April. May however we get a Lotta time indicators from sort of private companies and things like that, and that is suggesting that things probably bottomed out in the middle of April and on the consumer side early. May We have mother's? Mother's Day which is a big spending events, and then of course just this past weekend was memorial. Day and we really see some suggestions that things are beginning to pick up off bottoming out so for instance we can see Dinas at restaurants. Anez Bene- slight uptick emmannce, the number of people travelling through TSA, airport checkpoints also picking up, but it is worth Barry Mind that. That these numbers are still kind of eighty to ninety percent below what they were this time of year ago, but the point is that they're not declining anymore at least remaining stable or getting back to it again. One of the interesting ones that you mentioned your piece, too is that people are applying to open new businesses? That was one that I would not have expected to. To See, so quickly, you know economists say that offer an economic downtown's produce innovation, unproductive thumbs, dolphins and new ideas come to fruition, which it is amazing that we're seeing that already so just move rudely. It does seem like some of the bloodletting has stopped, and that things are picking up, but of course it is a days and what to say when looking at this. This data is the any sign of a pickup is contingent on the not being a second wave of outbreaks, because if there are fresh outbreaks and we have to go into lockdown again, that would be potentially really bad for the economy. One of the industries that you focused on your piece was the shipping industry as a point that it illustrates this kind of comeback the best. Best at least explain that a little bit. This is just a sign that things are starting to get moving again, so we have some indicates as long trucking spot market, and these picking on a full straight weeks. People are just moving stuff around freighters getting underway again again. We had some companies that said that things are very slow at the start of April, but demand. has remained fairly steady since then, which is another sign that hopefully the worst is behind us. One of the other interesting points was the real estate industry. Lot of the conversation was saying. Why aren't home prices going down? Although insurance rates were probably going really low, all time lows, and all that and attracting a lot of first time buyers, the housing prices weren't necessarily dropping down, but we're starting to see some good activity there as well. Just begin to see suggestions that people are feeling comfortable. Going out and looking for a new home and politics could be pent up demand, you know. We had a essentially from the middle of March. Everything was in lockdown, and traditionally the spring is usually the hot time for the housing market. That didn't happen this year, but there are signs of pent-up demand and people beginning to do more searches, getting to look for a new place to live, and it was interesting because some of the people I spoke to. The story said that they're potentially two reasons for that one is that mortgage rates are very low so barring Costello? You can get good dealer mortgage, but the other thing is. We've been spending. Spending so much time at home during this coronavirus lockdown, the people have really getting to see the home as a potential space, not just for living and sleeping at four walking every day, and so people are looking for a nice place to call home. They feel like they need perhaps a Home Office, maybe a home gym or a yard, because the current ivars pandemic, and the fact that everyone had to be at home as made everyone kind of thing about what they want from an I one hundred percent fall into that category I was already looking for something before this hit. Obviously everything got put on pause, but I have a tiny apartment right now and really no chance for a Home Office. Office so now I am looking forward to getting something with that type of capability, so definitely fall into that category, so we are getting some good indicators, some good real time data. We have to wait for some official numbers for a little bit longer, but there is still a lot of uncertainty I know that the recovery still will be kind of slow. It's not going to bounce back as a lot of people would hope and consumer, spending is a big part of that talk to me about that, and also about unemployment, because that seems like it will linger a long time, and people need to get back to work before they can really start spending again. Yes, and these two things kind of. of Go hand in hand because consumer spending drives the economy, and in order for consumers to feel comfortable spending one of the things that they need is income so having a job I mean people are getting expanded unemployment benefits, but that doesn't compensate for getting a regular paycheck and the hits. The market has been absolutely enormous. It's without modern precedent. We've had navy. Forty million people imply for some employment benefits in the past couple of months, so the reason why economists tokyo-bound pretentious recovery is because they a worried that some of the jobs that were lost as a result of the current virus, pandemic shutdowns won't be recovered. They will be lost permanently. Because many businesses against struggle to reopen restaurant and. Retailers, so it's kind of like the two things are going to have to go hunt enhance. Oh, the that will have to happen. I inform US economist say is for the economy recovered. We need to get over the damage that you know the health care. Situation is really important, so we either need a vaccine or the number of new infections needs to go down enough that people feel safe venturing out of their houses inference, going to malls and restaurants, and going out and spending again that ton once people start feel comfortable. Venturing out that should hopefully prompt hiring for instance instead. Instead of just a business owner doing everything himmel hustle behind the counter, perhaps that person will need to stop her a few most often meet Domon at that store or the restaurant as business starts to come back, but this could be a slow process, so that's the concern for us that we fell into a whole very quickly in it could take longer to climb back out of this whole. I know everybody is ready for the comeback. Hopefully we can get the health side of it situated quickly, and we can get back to as normal as possible as it was before territory. Reporter at the Wall Street Journal. Thank you very much for joining us. Thanks so much. I'm Oscar Ramirez and this has been your daily Corona, virus update. Don't forget today's big news stories. You can check me out the daily Diet podcast every Monday through Friday. Follow us on iheartradio or every podcast. Some podcasts are light and fun and fluffy. My podcast isn't. I mean unless you'd think a podcast about a teenager. 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