Special Report

Beyond the Health Crisis: Economic Indicators Special Report

Summer 2020

Consumer Spending and Labor Market Momentum Face Bumpy Outlook as Pandemic Resurgence Stalls Reopening

Reopening provided a momentary jolt, yet the economy remains fragile. In a matter of months, the national economy was destabilized in a fashion that was unlike any previous economic downturn due to the rapid impact of the health crisis. The road back to full functionality is obscure; however, most of the obstacles have come from decisions to shut down the economy rather than fundamental distress. Unemployment claims came in at a unprecedented pace in March and April, yet many of the jobless believed that they would be able to return to work once it was deemed safe. The more than 7 million jobs added back to the workforce in May and June proved that this was the case for some. However, initial claims continue to come in at an elevated rate, and recent surveys reveal that more of the jobless now view their layoff as permanent.
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