The signs of economic activity are mounting and piles of money are waiting to be spent while the virus loosens its grip

The US. The economy remains stuck in a pandemic winter of closed storefronts, high unemployment, and sluggish employment growth.But on Wall Street and Washington, attention is shifting to a fascinating, if vague, prospect: a post-Covid boom

Forecasters have always expected the pandemic to be followed by a period of strong growth as businesses reopen and Americans resume normal activities. However, in recent weeks economists have begun to speak of something stronger: a charged boom , which lowers unemployment, raises wages and potentially encourages years of stronger growth

There is evidence that the economy has turned a corner: retail sales rose last month as the latest round of government aid surfaced to consumers Bank accounts New jobless claims have been falling since early January but remain high Business investment policies have increased, a sign of the confidence of business leaders

Economists polled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia earlier this month predicted that US. Output increases 45 percent this year, which would make it the best year since 1999.Some expect an even stronger rebound: Goldman Sachs economists forecast economic growth 68 percent this year and that the unemployment rate will drop to 4-1 percent by December, a level that lasted eight years after the last recession

“We are very likely to have a very high rate of growth,” said Jan Hatzius, Goldman’s chief economist. “Whether it’s a boom or not, I think it’s a V-shaped recovery,” he added, referring to a steep drop, followed by a sharp rebound

Growing Optimism Based on Confluence of Multiple Factors Coronavirus Cases Falling In United States Vaccine Rollout Is Gaining Slower Than Hoped, But Gaining Pace And, largely because of the trillion dollars in federal aid, the economy seems to follow suit last year to have done less structural damage? in the form of business failures, foreclosures and personal bankruptcies? than many people feared last spring

Ultimately, consumers are sitting on a trillion dollar mountain of cash, due to months of lockdown-induced savings and successive rounds of stimulus payments.This mountain could grow if Congress approves President Biden’s proposed aid to households. p>

When the pandemic ends, cash could be set free like melting snow in the Rocky Mountains: consumers freed from their cabin fever compete for hotel rooms and restaurant tables businesses compete for staff and supplies to meet demand due to workers who Having been incapacitated by childcare obligations or fear of viruses, suddenly abundant opportunities are being drawn back to the working population

“There will be this big boom when the pent-up demand comes through and the economy opens up”said Ellen Zentner, Chef US. Economist for Morgan Stanley “There is a lot of purchasing power that we have transferred to households to fuel this pent-up demand”â ????

That vision is far from certain. Delays in Vaccine Adoption Could Delay Recovery How New Strains of Virus Could Make Vaccines Less Effective A political stalemate in Washington could hold up aid to the unemployed and businesses in trouble, even if the economy Avoiding all of these pitfalls, it is unlikely that there will be a single moment when public health officials give the all-clear It could be years before people pack into bars and sports stadiums like it did before the pandemic

A boom also carries risks In recent weeks, prominent economists like Lawrence H Summers, a Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton, has warned that Mr. Biden’s proposal for aid is too big and could overheat the economy, drive prices up and force the Federal Reserve to end the party early Fed officials have largely dismissed these concerns, finding that the problem has been consistent over the past few years Decades rather too little than too much inflation

Other economists fear that the recovery will primarily benefit those at the top, exacerbating inequalities widened by the pandemic

“We may see a boom in the future, but that can leave some people even further behind or give them a trickle when they need a waterfall”said Tara Sinclair, an economist at George Washington University

But for many businesses and households that struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic, those concerns pale in comparison to the opportunities a boom could offer

Workout Anytime, a chain of 24-hour fitness clubs, was hit hard by the early stages of the pandemic that shut down gyms across the country and business has since recovered, but not to previous levels, as customers remain cautious if you train in a confined space

But Greg Maurer, a vice president of the company, sees better times ahead of the pandemic hasn’t dampened people’s enthusiasm for exercise, he said If anything, this has made the importance of physical fitness clearer once people are sure it is safe, he expects the business to become gangbusters

“This could be the biggest phase of growth we’ve ever had” he said, “There’s a large group of people out there who are saying,” Can’t wait to get back to the clubâ ???? â ????

Mr Not only does Maurer expect to get all of his old customers back or even resume the company’s old growth path, but he anticipates the business will be one step ahead of the virus, in part because the pandemic has wiped out many smaller fitness chains and Leaving Less Competition Behind But it’s also that the pandemic spurred Workout Anytime and other chains to adopt digital tools like online bookings and video workouts that could open up new sources of income

“Because of these challenges, we are a much better organization today than we were a year ago, because we had to get better,” Mr. Said Maurer

Stories like his stand behind one of the most fascinating opportunities for the post-Covid-19 era: a rise in productivity Companies and workers have been forced to use a wide range of technologies and policies Online meetings, file sharing, flexible working hours? that could make their operations more efficient. Spread across the economy, such changes could enable faster growth that is sustainable for decades, rather than just a short-term eruption

Constance L Hunter, chief economist at accounting firm KPMG, likened the opportunity to post-World War II war led to the development of new technologies and the proliferation of existing technologies to factories across the country.These advances helped make the postwar period one of the best for productivity growth and for economic growth in general has been

There is no one-size-fits-all definition of a boom, nor is there a committee of elite economists who agree when to start, as is the case with recessions, but economists generally agree that booms are due to a combination of strong growth and a high absolute level of activity. According to this standard, the period after the Second World War is certainly a boom, as was the late 1960s

In the past few decades, however, booms have become rarer – growth never started after the mild recession of 2001, and while the unemployment rate hit a half-century low after the last recession, it took a decade to get there

There are reasons to believe that this recovery might be different. For one, the economy was fundamentally healthy at the start of the recession. There was no housing bubble; household indebtedness was low; Banks were not sitting on a tower of dubious loans that could collapse at any moment. That is, there is no reason, at least in theory, that the economy cannot pick up where it left off, more or less

Policy makers have also responded much more aggressively to this crisis than to previous ones. The Fed acted quickly to prevent the pandemic from sparking a financial crisis and Congress spent trillions of dollars to ensure unemployed workers keep their homes and to support their families, and to help small businesses

These efforts were far from a complete success. The unemployment system collapsed under the pressure of applicants, and millions had to wait weeks or months to receive benefits, if at all. Government aid was inadequate or late to receive benefits Thousands of Businesses to Save State and local governments have cut jobs Hunger rates have risen

However, government aid appears to have been largely effective in preventing deep structural damage that could prevent a major upturn.There hasn’t been a wave of foreclosures or corporate bankruptcies. Business owner rates have risen, suggesting Americans are optimistic about access to have the capital needed to respond to that optimism

Kara Gray and her husband Christopher DeSure spent years building their small Ohio construction company into a successful business then the pandemic shut them down, and having a daughter with a compromised immune system at home, they haven’t felt comfortable again to work personally

Given the strong real estate market, Dr Gray is confident they can get back to work once the pandemic ends, but fears they won’t be able to take full advantage of the boom, forced to spend the money they put aside to buy a home and her husband, and are on Bills have fallen behind and have accumulated credit card debt, which could make it difficult for them to qualify for a mortgage or business loan to expand their business

“It will affect me and my husband in the longer term” She said, “It’s not just” Can I pay my bills this month? As soon as this is over, I have to start all overâ ????

Stories Like Ms. Gray Points To A Challenge For Policy Makers Standard economic statistics like unemployment rate and gross domestic product could obscure the ongoing challenges of many families, particularly black and Hispanic workers who have borne the brunt of the economic pain of the pandemic This could lead Congress to withdraw aid if it is still needed

“The risk is that within the aggregate data, which looks relatively encouraging, the stories of many, many households will be lost,” said David Wilcox, a former Fed economist who is now a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics

Despite all its shortcomings, a boom may be the best chance many workers have to make up lost ground in the strong labor market that preceded the pandemic, provided low-income workers with wage increases and opportunities for people with disabilities, criminal records and other barriers to employment A rapid decline in the unemployment rate will not heal all wounds caused by the pandemic, but it could at least stop the bleeding

“Root for the Boom” MS Sinclair Said But don’t expect the boom to do anything for usâ ????

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World News – UK – Could this be a boom on the post-pandemic horizon?

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/21/business/economy/pandemic-economic-boom.html