View a snapshot of where the US economy currently stands based on high-frequency and alternative indicators of economic activity.Download Report
(Click on the images for an enhanced view of each chart)
The report is constructed around a few key needs and assumptions:
• Regular evaluation of high-frequency data: The economic downturn associated with the spread of the coronavirus was the fastest in US history, and the slope of the recovery has been changing on a daily or weekly basis. Although traditional economic indicators like the unemployment rate, quarterly GDP growth, or industrial production still provide the most accurate read of how the US economy is faring, the lag between data collection and release and backward-looking nature of these measures does not allow for an evaluation of the economy as it stands right now, which may be very different from how it looked a month (or even a couple of weeks) ago.
• Qualitative assessment of quantitative measures: Unlike some other data tools, Recovery Tracker does not attempt to quantify current growth or the near-term probability of a binary event. Instead, it centers on qualitative evaluation of what current quantitative measures are saying, in the form of directional arrows (with a simple red-yellow-green color scheme) pointing to the near-term performance of the health situation, overall economic activity, consumer activity, labor market, and industrial activity, as well as a written explanation of the state of each area and latest relevant developments.
• Organized by data type: Because many of the indicators included in the report, particularly the high-frequency alternative indicators, relate to more than one aspect of economic activity, the pages of the report are organized in a way that groups similar types of indicators together. Within each page, the various indicators are assigned non-exclusive labels identifying a key aspect of economic activity – consumer activity, labor market, and industrial activity – that they reveal information about.
• The public health situation (COVID-19) underlies economic performance: A central assumption of this report is that an improving health situation is necessary (but perhaps not sufficient) for a strong economic recovery. Apparent improvement in economic measures is therefore likely to be short-lived in the absence of a positive health trajectory, and a key leading indicator of economic growth is a sustained decline in new virus case counts and deaths. The report therefore begins with a summary of the current health situation in the United States and around the world.
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