I always like to keep an eye on the US economy, it can be a useful yardstick for predicting what might happen here in the UK. There are some obvious winners and losers from events in 2020 but I wanted to understand some of the numbers behind this. Some are calling this a "service industry" recession. The issue here is that it will be much harder for some of these businesses (Restaurants, Hotels, Travel) to bounce back, for many it will already be too late when confidence returns and restrictions lifted.
Curiously there have been uplifts in manufacturing like car sales as more people want the protection of travelling in their own car. Consumers are buying more for the home, groceries, home gym equipment and tech for the home. We know it has been a great year for tech companies too, either hardware for the home like printers and laptops or digital platforms like video conferencing or broadband and streaming services.
One of the saddest things to hear is how badly female workers and minority groups have been impacted. In the US school lockdowns have caused childcare issues leaving mostly women in part-time jobs to quit. In the service sector, many low paid Hispanic and black workers have been amongst the first to be laid off.
If you have time do listen to the NY Times podcast on this subject.
So if you think back to that time that was the worst recession since the Great Depression, this catastrophic feeling moment in the American economy, we still, even after the rebound we’ve seen so far, we still are in a deeper hole now than we were at the worst moment of that recession.