Everything we didnt buy this spring
The things we did not buy this spring. I'm David Brancaccio. Good morning in a locked down economy. It's not a surprise that retail sales in the US fell in April but the deeper drop than forecast to drop of twelve percent was expected. What WE GOT FROM GOVERNMENT STATISTICIANS? Just now a drop of sixteen percent. This can't just be put down to gasoline prices. If you factor out volatile fuel and car. Sales retail sales still fell more than sixteen percent last month. Christopher Lowe is the chief economist fhm financial. I think the thing that jumped out the most at me What was we knew? People obviously are spending less than April at restaurants and bars because in most of the country you couldn't eat in and many were closed. What I didn't anticipate was that people spent less At Grocery and liquor stores as well that total food sales are twenty percent below where they were in February. And you know we talk a lot about the restaurants which are in terrible shape. But it's that they were not the hardest hit in retail no and I I think the best way to understand that this is to look at the change from a year ago restaurant and bar. Sales are down forty nine percent which is just incredible but clothing stores down. Eighty nine percent Electronics are down sixty five percent furniture down sixty six percent. You know the these are industries that are effectively Shut DOWN. Christopher Lowe. Is THE CHIEF? Economist at fhm financial. Thank you very much. Thank you David. An oboe are airlines annoyed at the Boeing. Ceo David Calhoun who went on TV. And in answer to a question let on that. He thinks some major. Us airline will go out of business. By September. The Way The Wall Street Journal tells it and American Airlines. The inside reaction was. What did he say? Other Airlines in the midst of trying to charm their lenders are steamed and reportedly have conveyed back to Boeing some peak. The Boeing CEO also said it could be three to five years for the airline business to come back but southwest's CEO says flying won't be back to normal for six to twelve months. Just been a focus on cove nineteen affect on the supply chain for meat workers at processing plants getting sick forcing those facilities to shut the pandemic exposing suppliers of vegetables as well for the Northwest News. Network Anna King as this report from Washington State. It's springtime emerald shoots are pushing up from the earth. Irrigation pivots are watering the fields. As always this time of year but so much else has changed grower. Jim Middleton says social distancing is easy in his asparagus fields but quarters are tight in the shed. Worker Stack plastic crates of asparagus from the field to be processed. And just one case of the virus could cripple Middleton's operation without a regular workforce every single day. We're going to get backed up quickly and Have a lot of product we wouldn't be able to pack or to sell and that could get upside down in a big hurry. Picking is intense. It goes every day for ten weeks. Social distancing is especially hard in fruit and vegetable processing facilities workers often stand inches apart at gourmet trading company in Pasco Washington. They've decreased the number of people on each shift by about fifteen percent. So people can spread out and workers were hairnets. Aprons gloves and handmade masks Phil Causes Team checks. Everyone's temperature every day and if someone has a fever they're not going to be allowed inside and then we'll ask them to go home and quarantine themselves and it's been hard to find enough pickers to do the work in the first place says. Mike Gambler who had the nonprofit Washington Growers League many workers come from Mexico under temporary visas for agricultural work now? He says they can't get the interviews they need through. Us consulates to come to the US to not have the people you planned on to come and take. The jobs is incredibly stressful. He estimates farmers maybe thirty percent short of the workers. They need the season in Pasco Washington. I'm Anna King for marketplace public health. Experts say a to managing the pandemic is testing for the virus and testing again and again but federal regulators have raised a question about the accuracy of a new corona virus test that produces rapid results as it happens. That Abbott Labs test is being used on those who work at the White House. Avid stock was down about three percent. This morning marketplace's Nova Sappho is here with more. No what's the focus false positives or false negatives it's false negatives David at issue is Abbott's ide- now test. It's a rapid diagnostic tool. That's supposed to return results in a few minutes. As you mentioned New York University researchers took a look and said earlier this week that the test was returning false negatives that it was missing nearly half of all positive samples collected with dry nasal swabs then yesterday the FDA issued an alert saying it's looking into that finding and that in the meantime negative results from the Abbott test should be confirmed with another more sensitive tests that takes longer and what about accuracy of some of the other tests. Well we know that false negatives are not necessarily a new problem. When China was testing the population in Wuhan there were also reports of a lot of false negative results there. Abbott does dispute though the. Nyu study the company. Says other studies have shown its rapid diagnostic system gets better results. Appetite said it will provide guidance for how to correctly use its tests and so far David according to the CDC more than ten million viral tests have been conducted in the US and fifteen percent have come back positive Nova. Thank you as she. I just checked Abbott stock again. It's down one and a half percent now by one count there are more than ninety vaccines being tested for Cova. Nineteen one getting special. Attention is being developed by scientists at Oxford University. It's undergoing human trials but the news is that there's data not yet peer reviewed that this stuff is working in monkeys. This is one that the pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca would manufacture and distribute if it works. And if it's safe fergus. Walsh's is the medical correspondent for our editorial partner the BBC in the study in the United States six rhesus macaques were given half the vaccine dose being tested in more than a thousand human volunteers in the UK. All the monkeys developed antibodies within four weeks of vaccination and when exposed to corona virus. It appears to have protected them from new MONJA. A key symptom of Kovic nineteen crucially. There was no evidence of immune enhanced disease a theoretical risk where vaccine triggers a worse response to a disease which had been seen in some early animal vaccine trials against saws another Corona Virus Fergus Walsh with the BBC. Now he was talking about the Vard's Astra Zeneca one Pfizer has vaccine developed with the German drugmaker biotech which the companies hope will be tested in thousands of patients starting in September modern of Massachusetts says a vaccine candidate of its own. That's entering phase two of the three phases of human trials required before the FDA might allow its sale now for a roundup of developments in this covert nineteen economy. Marketplace's ten minute. Make me smart podcast with Kai Ryssdal. Molly Wood is now daily. You can sign up for free at the podcast emporium of your choice. I am David Brancaccio. You're listening to the marketplace morning report from APM American public media.