As states take differing approaches to re-opening and closing, some parts of the economy continue to see improvement from the start of the pandemic while others continue to struggle. Some states have instituted mask mandates and other measures, such as closing indoor bar service, amid rising coronavirus cases.
These five charts illustrate trends in important industries that help track reopening progress in the U.S.
Data from Apple’s navigation tool, Maps, shows a new dip for walking and driving. Compared to last week, walking and driving have decreased in lockstep from the summer high, both still have requests higher than pre-pandemic levels. Transit directions has stayed nearly the same as past weeks at below pre-pandemic levels. These dips in walking and driving could reflect recent spikes in positive coronavirus cases that may prompt less of a need to go places. On the other hand, as more cities and states contemplate further re-opening and possible return to work measures, these numbers could go up in coming weeks.
New weekly numbers from the restaurant booking app OpenTable is more than 60% lower than last year, though still above the 0% booking levels seen from mid-March until May. The lower number of bookings compared to previous weeks is likely an effect of rising cases that have led to restrictive measures, including closing or reducing bar capacities in some areas, including parts of Michigan, where indoor bar service was closed. It appears as these more restrictive measures have been put in to place with the rising cases, continuing the upward trend in bookings has become less certain.
Occupancy rates have begun to stall out after weeks of noticeable jumps despite the holiday weekend. Occupancy is down 30% compared to a comparable week in 2019, and the average daily rate of hotels is down 20%, according to global hospitality research company STR data. In line with previous weeks, Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia was a top travel market and this week the only major travel market to crack over 60% occupancy. Boston and Orlando, listed among the lowest occupancy levels, both had sub-30% occupancy levels.
The number of passengers traveling through airport security checkpoints remains below 70% of last year, according to data from the Transportation Security Administration. Nearing the -70% mark is the highest number of passengers the industry has reached since the pandemic began shaking up the industry. The air travel industry has been an area of attention for health experts and concerned travelers, as reports of close-to-capacity planes have heightened worries that the coronavirus could spread while in the air.
Mortgage applications for purchasing a single-family home, while down from June highs, remain more than 15% above last year, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Mortgage applications increased 2.2% from one week earlier, including an adjustment for the Fourth of July, according to the MBA. The MBA also reported that the average purchase loan size increased to $365,700, with borrowers having limited supply of homes and higher prices.