U.S. Reopening Monitor Update - September 7, 2020
Updated: Sep 8, 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 continued to look strong last week and initial readings on new COVID-19 cases have now fallen on a week-over-week (W/W) basis for seven weeks in a row with the uptick in infections that began in June having peaked. Improvement is showing up in the underlying high frequency economic data for retail sales, dining, travel, transit and consumer sentiment. Our forecast of improved economic momentum has continued to play out as evidenced by the better than expected August jobs number last week and the Atlanta Fed’s estimate of 3Q GDP growth rising to 29.6%.
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 nine straight weeks in the Eurozone and could weigh on the outlook. The pace of infection growth has been slowing with Germany and France seeing W/W declines, while Spain is still struggling.
The U.K. pace of infections increased again after a couple W/W improvements.
Japan has had four 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.