• Bill Stone

U.S. Reopening Monitor Update - September 28, 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 declined last week primarily due to market indicators but initial readings on new COVID-19 cases and deaths fell on a week-over-week (W/W) basis. Improvement continues in the underlying high frequency economic data for consumer sentiment, retail sales and dining but the gains are slowing. The reopening and economic data are now similarly grinding higher after the sharp rebound for most of 3Q. While 3Q GDP growth is likely to be around 30%, 4Q should slow to a single digit rate as the easier part of the rebound is now likely behind us. The Atlanta and New York Fed’s estimate of 3Q GDP growth are 32.0% and 14.1%, 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 twelve straight weeks in the Eurozone and could weigh on the outlook. Infection counts in France and Spain hit another highest weekly infection record.

The U.K. pace of infections increased for the fourth week in a row and eclipsed the previous peak rate.

Japan has had seven 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.

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