President Donald Trump’s victory lap last month about the state of the American economy might have been premature.
The New York Times reports that there are signs that the nascent economic recovery is already faltering amid surging numbers of COVID-19 infections.
Even though the economy likely recovered millions of jobs over the last month, recent real-time data suggests that the initial consumer spending surge that began in May as more states reopened has already tapered off.
“New job postings on the employment platform ZipRecruiter fell in June after rising sharply in May,” the Times reports. “Data on small business openings and employment from Homebase, which provides scheduling and time tracking software for businesses, show that small business employment and openings worsened over the past week, after plateauing for much of June.”
Additionally, foot traffic to retailers has declined significantly in cities that have become hot spots for the virus, including Houston, Phoenix, and Orlando.
Even more worrisome, reports the Times, “a significant share of small businesses have still not reopened, even as states increasingly lift restrictions on their operations.”
Austan Goolsbee, a former top economist for President Barack Obama, tells the Times that the “virus is the boss” and that the economy will not recover economically until the country gets it under control.