Today’s numbers: The COVID economy
As of April 9, 2021 (we’ll update every weekday morning).
U.S. daily COVID-19 deaths, 7-day average: 757 (falling)
U.S. COVID-19 new cases, 7-day average: 66,154 (rising)
COVID vaccine doses administered: 175 million (76% of doses shipped)
Americans 18 or older vaccinated — at least one dose: 43%
U.S. COVID positivity rate, 7-day average: 4.7% (falling)
Jobless rates, by educational attainment
Third stimulus check, average % spent: 25%
Americans who’ve put off a major financial milestone (buying a house or car, furthering education, getting married, having children, retiring) during pandemic: 39%
Among 18-34-year-olds: 59%
Consumers’ confidence about the current state of their personal finances: 12% below pre-pandemic
“The leading economic indicator is … the virus.” More than one analyst has put it to us this way. As we try to understand and quantify this unprecedented global economic collapse — and now the attempted restart — we’re following key metrics for COVID-19 and the broader economy.
Keep in mind: The tally of COVID-19 cases represents only the ones that are documented.
Our main trusty sources: World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Johns Hopkins University, Our World in Data (based on WHO data, Covid Tracking (scientist/journalist collaboration), GasBuddy.
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
What do I need to know about tax season this year?
Glad you asked! We have a whole separate FAQ section on that. Some quick hits: The deadline has been extended from April 15 to May 17 for individuals. Also, millions of people received unemployment benefits in 2020 — up to $10,200 of which will now be tax-free for those with an adjusted gross income of less than $150,000. And, for those who filed before the American Rescue Plan passed, simply put, you do not need to file an amended return at the moment. Find answers to the rest of your questions here.
How long will it be until the economy is back to normal?
It feels like things are getting better, more and more people getting vaccinated, more businesses opening, but we’re not entirely out of the woods. To illustrate: two recent pieces of news from the Centers for Disease Control. Item 1: The CDC is extending its tenant eviction moratorium to June 30. Item 2: The cruise industry didn’t get what it wanted — restrictions on sailing from U.S. ports will stay in place until November. Very different issues with different stakes, but both point to the fact that the CDC thinks we still have a ways to go before the pandemic is over, according to Dr. Philip Landrigan, who used to work at the CDC and now teaches at Boston College.
How are those COVID relief payments affecting consumers?
Payments started going out within days of President Joe Biden signing the American Rescue Plan, and that’s been a big shot in the arm for consumers, said John Leer at Morning Consult, which polls Americans every day. “Consumer confidence is really on a tear. They are growing more confident at a faster rate than they have following the prior two stimulus packages.” Leer said this time around the checks are bigger and they’re getting out faster. Now, rising confidence is likely to spark more consumer spending. But Lisa Rowan at Forbes Advisor said it’s not clear how much or how fast.
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