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Home / Business / The flu pandemic triggers new shutdowns and new economic damage

The flu pandemic triggers new shutdowns and new economic damage

On Friday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) tightened restrictions on restaurants and indoor gatherings, effective from 12:01 AM on Monday, while the governors of California, Oregon and Washington issued a joint statement, Travel is discouraged and tourists are advised to quarantine on arrival for 14 days. At the same time, the mayor of New York City warned parents that public schools may close as early as Monday.

Similar measures are taking effect or are under consideration elsewhere, including Chicago, where the Mayor of Chicago issued a statement on Thursday hours before Illinois Governor JB Pritzker (DB) threatened to issue mandatory orders across the state. Recommendations to stay at home. The re-implemented repressive measures remind people of the worst days of the pandemic in early March, when sports leagues, movie theaters and restaurants suddenly went dormant in an attempt to curb the spread of infectious diseases.

These steps were only partially successful and paid a huge price. By the end of June, the economy had shrunk by US$2.2 trillion, exceeding the entire annual output value of Italy. Today, as communities across the country are gradually facing new closures, the economy is once again in danger. The latest University of Michigan Confidence Index shows that consumers are increasingly pessimistic about the future. Even before the announcement of the new restrictions, they had already begun to cut spending.

Gregory Daco, an economist at the Oxford Institute for Economic Research, said: “We expect stronger growth in 2021

, but we need a bridge. To be honest, the outlook is dark. “

There was a decline after a rebound more than expected after a sudden recession this spring. Of the 22 million Americans who were unemployed due to non-essential business closures, more than half returned to work, and today’s 6.9% unemployment rate is well below the double-digit initial forecast by most Wall Street economists. Production in the third quarter hit a record high.

However, with more than 11 million still unemployed, the United States is in danger of wasting its hard-won progress in rebuilding the economy. Last Friday, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (California) said that this rampant virus represents “the greatest emergency.” But she and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have not had any talks about a new rescue plan.

In El Paso, local officials have deployed 10 mortuary trailers to handle the backlog of dead bodies. The county’s top elected official this week extended the closure of unnecessary businesses until December 1 and ordered residents to stay at home and avoid travel.

According to David Jerome, president of the local chamber of commerce, the pandemic has shut down about 300 companies in border communities. Another 300 companies (restaurants, hairdressers and retail stores) have enough cash on hand to survive less than a month.

Jerome said: “We are reaching a tipping point.” “People have reached a point where they are quite nervous. People are fragile.”

Eight months after the historic crisis, the United States seems to have fallen into some kind of economic purgatory. The labor market is slowly recovering, and the initial number of unemployed has fallen for four consecutive weeks. But the outlook for the virus is grim and getting worse.

On Thursday, the United States reported more than 150,000 cases a day for the first time. Ian Shepherdson, chief economist of the Pantheon’s macroeconomics, said that within the next week, the daily total will exceed 200,000 and may reach 300,000 by early December.

By mid-December, hospitals will be flooded with coronavirus patients, which is twice as much as during the early wave of the pandemic. “Unless most densely populated states soon impose stricter restrictions on leisure and hospitality departments and indoor gatherings,” wrote a note to customers on Friday.

Consumers have already started laying off employees. Jesse Edgerton, an economist at JPMorgan Chase, said that as of November 9, the spending by Chase 30 million credit and debit card holders had fallen by 7.4% from the same period last year, and “Significant decline” in the past two weeks.

Despite the deterioration in health, investors are still making profits. On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose nearly 400 points, and this month is up more than 11%. However, millions of American families are suffering from silent fiscal austerity.

According to a pulse survey by the Census Bureau, between the end of September and the end of October, the number of Americans who said it was “very difficult” to pay for daily household expenses increased by more than 2.3 million to 34.8 million.

In Los Angeles, 57-year-old Micah Martin lost his job as a health training consultant and has been struggling to survive. This summer, when he was about to move back to his parents’ home in Oklahoma, he finally received unemployment benefits.

He said: “Since then, it has been living in the smoke.” “I am annoyed that Nancy Pelosi and McConnell did not offer a compromise. This really gives I have caused trouble with many other people.”

Los Angeles County health officials warned on Friday that if the recent surge in coronavirus cases is not curbed, the scope of activities may be increased. The county is already operating under the strictest conditions in California’s four-tier system.

Martin said: “Covid seems to be out of control here.” “I haven’t been to a restaurant since February.”

There is reason to hope that economic conditions in the coming months will be better than the first wave of the pandemic. Doctors have more experience in treating covid-19 (the disease caused by the coronavirus). More and more Americans are wearing masks and are isolated from society. According to Anthony Fauci, a major infectious disease expert in the United States, a highly effective vaccine may be widely used by April.

Michael Strain, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, said: “The response of the American people to this surge will be very different from the response in the spring. “The risk of death is relative to the spring. Has been greatly reduced. People may be willing to take more risks. “

Gail Myer, vice president of the family business Myer Hotels, said that this is indeed correct in the resort town of Branson, Missouri.

Myer said that despite a sharp decline in business and a one-third reduction in his staff, October was the company’s best month of the year. November may be better.

Meyer said: “People are tired of not being able to do what they think is normal, and they are still trying to travel comfortably.” “I think the US economy is improving and people are thinking about how to make it useful to them.”

But now there is a lack of $3 trillion in federal support to alleviate the economic impact of the spring. No matter what government officials do, this recurrent virus may inhibit activity.

“More companies will face the risk of permanent closure, which will curb labor demand and may stimulate a new round of layoffs. This suggests that as the country tries to contain the virus, the labor market may recover within the next few months. Significant slowdown or even reversal.” Bank of America economists said on Friday.

In Chicago, 50-year-old restaurant owner Kevin Boehm closed two of 20 restaurants in the spring and laid off 1,800 of his approximately 2,000 employees. Due to the uncontrollable spread of the virus, city officials banned indoor dining only one month after relaxing the restaurant’s capacity restrictions on October 30.

During his 27-year career, Boehm suffered an oven explosion in his face and saw a restaurant burned down. But due to an 80% reduction in income, the pandemic pushed him and his partners in the Boka Group to the edge.

Now, as Boehm is considering millions of dollars in financial losses and possible further layoffs, he is seeking Washington.

He said: “We need Republicans and Democrats to step up their efforts and provide us with the help we need.” “You can only punch so many punches.”

The House of Representatives passed a legislation last month to provide $120 billion in grants to independent restaurants and warned that 85% of them could fail without assistance. But the Senate has not yet taken measures.

Ryan Rivett, chief executive of the US “My Place” hotel, is also counting on new stimulus legislation. During the pandemic, his long-stay hotel chain has been open, and some property managers slept on the spot to compensate for the reduced staff.

Rivitt received a forgivable government loan earlier this year to prevent layoffs. However, although he can adjust his labor costs according to changes in demand, his loan payments are not very flexible.

He said: “The lack of stimulus is our bigger concern.” “I don’t want to lose our business because we cannot pay off our debt.

The limitations of some new restrictions cast a shadow over the economic outlook. As escalating medical emergencies threaten to overwhelm the hospital system, restrictions are spreading to politically conservative states such as West Virginia, Iowa, and Wyoming, which have resisted in the early stages of the pandemic. Class measures.

But this effort is still controversial. In El Paso, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton challenged Ricardo Samaniego County Judge’s suspension order.

In New Germany, Minnesota, Jean Stelten-Beuning, owner of the top dog boarding facility Top Dog Country Club, is worried about the next few months.

Last year, on the Thanksgiving weekend, she built a heated dog swimming pool on a 35-acre site and boarded 105 dogs. Now, she is expected to be only 35 years old due to officials urging caution about vacation travel.

As income fell by 55%, her 28 employees were cut in half. The total number of daily cases in the state this week reached a new high, and the governor ordered new restrictions on restaurants and other indoor gatherings.

She said: “If the numbers continue to grow and the shutdown continues to expand, I don’t know what will happen.” “It will be very bleak.”

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