U.S. Reopening Monitor Update - September 21, 2020
The Stone Investment Partners’ U.S. Reopening Monitor was designed to provide a dashboard of high frequency and non-traditional data to gauge the pace and strength of U.S. economic activity as business restarts following the COVID-19 lockdown. The dashboard consists of three main indicator groups: healthcare, economic and financial market. This guide will provide the details behind each of the indicators within the groups. Initial and continuing jobless claims are releases with a one- and two-week lag respectively. Data marked with an asterisk (*) denotes that the indicator was either not yet available or not published by the underlying source that week. The data marked in green indicates that the measurement improved on a week-over-week basis, while red reflects week-over-week deterioration.
Another way to visualize the data is to look at the number of factors in the monitor improving or deteriorating on a week-over-week basis.
Readings for our U.S. Reopening Monitor held steady last week but initial readings on new COVID-19 cases rose on a week-over-week (W/W) basis for the first time in nine weeks. Improvement continues in the underlying high frequency economic data for transit, but some weakness is seen in the travel and dining indicators. Even though travel was down relative to the previous year, the total number of travelers rose on a W/W basis. The Atlanta and New York Fed’s estimate of 3Q GDP growth are 32.0% and 14.3%, respectively.
Though this monitor focuses on the U.S., it is worth highlighting the spike in COVID infections in other parts of the world.
Confirmed COVID cases have risen on a W/W basis for eleven straight weeks in the Eurozone and could weigh on the outlook. Infection growth moved higher again in Germany, while France and Spain are struggling with their highest weekly infection count ever.
The U.K. pace of infections increased for the third week in a row after a couple of W/W improvements.
Japan has had six straight weeks of W/W declines in infections after a streak of increases.
The Guide to the U.S. Reopening Monitor is linked here.
The PDF version of the weekly update to the U.S. Reopening Monitor is linked here.