COVID-19 travel restrictions and quarantine measures depress key Chinese sectors
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Chinese government indices that track manufacturing and services fell in February, indicating contraction in both industries. This comes as the country is containing COVID-19, with the number of recoveries outnumbering that of new infections.
“Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Marketplace’s China correspondent Jennifer Pak in Shanghai about what life is like there now.
“For businesses, especially for January and February, these are slow months because of the Lunar New Year holiday,” Pak said. “So for all intents and purposes, March is when companies really have to make their quarter-one targets.”
The key question for these businesses, Pak said, is whether they can resume their operations after shutting down because of both the holiday and the virus. “The two key things that are preventing them for restarting are travel restrictions between provinces and also this self-quarantine measure for 14 days,” she said.
Outside the world of business, Pak said life is slowly coming back to the streets of Shanghai. More people are on the streets, and some restaurants have reopened sit-down dining services.
Click the audio player above to hear the interview.
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
New COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. are on the rise. How are Americans reacting?
Johns Hopkins University reports the seven-day average of new cases hit 68,767 on Sunday — a record — eclipsing the previous record hit in late July during the second, summer wave of infection. A funny thing is happening with consumers though: Even as COVID-19 cases rise, Americans don’t appear to be shying away from stepping indoors to shop or eat or exercise. Morning Consult asked consumers how comfortable they feel going out to eat, to the shopping mall or on a vacation. And their willingness has been rising. Surveys find consumers’ attitudes vary by age and income, and by political affiliation, said Chris Jackson, who heads up polling at Ipsos.
How many people are flying? Has traveled picked up?
Flying is starting to recover to levels the airline industry hasn’t seen in months. The Transportation Security Administration announced on Oct. 19 that it’s screened more than 1 million passengers on a single day — its highest number since March 17. The TSA also screened more than 6 million passengers last week, its highest weekly volume since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While travel is improving, the TSA announcement comes amid warnings that the U.S. is in the third wave of the coronavirus. There are now more than 8 million cases in the country, with more than 219,000 deaths.
How are Americans feeling about their finances?
Nearly half of all Americans would have trouble paying for an unexpected $250 bill and a third of Americans have less income than before the pandemic, according to the latest results of our Marketplace-Edison Poll. Also, 6 in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation, but Black respondents are much more likely to think that race has a big impact on a person’s long-term financial situation than white or Hispanic/Latinx respondents.
Find the rest of the poll results here, which cover how Americans have been faring financially about six months into the pandemic, race and equity within the workplace and some of the key issues Trump and Biden supporters are concerned about.
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