Passing along an update to our Covid and macro related trend trackers in the US. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Open Report:Bespoke – US Covid and Macro Update (July)
Key Takeaways and Charts:
Covid Specific Trend Feedback
- Concerns persist but consumers increasingly think the pandemic will be with us for an extended period of time and the percentage who are taking measures to avoid catching the virus has been declining sequentially.
- Consumers are growing increasingly frustrated with the government’s response to Covid so far.
Unemployment Benefits and CARES Act Boost
- Respondents currently receiving unemployment benefits remain more likely to say their most recent check was higher than usual compared to those who say lower than usual. They are also much more likely to say their most recent check was high than the weekly pay at their job when they were most recently employed. Respondents who said they are receiving benefits that are higher than their most recent paycheck at their last job have been more likely to save the money than spend it, but the % who said they spend the extra money has trended higher m/m since May.
- The percentage of respondents who are employed and working fill time has declined and is at series lows (not employed and looking for work is at series highs). Fears that employed respondents will lose their jobs are double what they were a year ago. To the positive, new business formation among employed respondents is higher than normal levels.
Personal Finance Trackers
- Though respondents feel net-worse toward personal finances compared to a year ago, they have been generally consistent with their evaluation of their personal financial standing throughout this pandemic.
- Discretionary spending sentiment took a significant hit at the beginning of the pandemic, but it has been recovering in the months since then. Intentions to purchase a new home or a car have increased and are above seasonal levels. Intentions to start a home improvement project popped higher from March through May. It dropped like it does seasonally in July, but remains higher than it was one year ago in July 2019.
Credit Card Debt and Delinquencies
- A declining percentage of consumers report having made a credit card payment in the past month.
Medical / Healthcare Trends
- After dropped in April/May, doctor’s office visits recovered some in July (though still a good deal below normal levels). Dental visits are following a similar pattern (improved relative to April/May, but still lower than normal).
- Interest in the stock market is at all-time highs in our survey, as is the % who have investments in Gold.