All States in Some Form of Reopening, but Issues Linger

  • Categories:

    COVID-19 Response

  • Date:

    June 19, 2020

All States in Some Form of Reopening, but Issues Linger

COVID-19 Response

Depending on your perspective, the landscape this week is either troubling or promising: COVID-19 cases continue to climb as all 50 states reach some stage of reopening their retail and service economies. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is officially in a recession, though some sectors, such as housing, are booming.

On June 19, one thing is certain: The effects of this pandemic will linger. Huge macroeconomic shifts, including historic unemployment increases coupled with a huge decline in GDP, mean we’ll be feeling this one for a long time.

However, almost halfway through a year like no other, there are some bright spots. A fluctuating stock market is expected to post solid gains this week. Home sales are soaring. Builder confidence is surging. Construction jobs are coming online to meet current demand. Even coffee is getting into the game: Dunkin’ launched a national campaign to recruit 25,000 workers at a time when the American restaurant industry is hurting (score one for a smart business benefiting from evolving drive-through behaviors).

Here are 10 things to know in Week 14. For a closer look, download a free copy of our latest weekly POV.

As of June 18:

  1. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States topped 2.1 million, with total deaths passing 117,000. (Johns Hopkins)
  2. More than half of all Americans are extremely or very concerned about a second wave of COVID-19 cases, up 6% from last week. (Ipsos)
  3. Total unemployment is down slightly to 14.1%. (Department of Labor)
  4. The economy is now consumers’ top concern, with nearly two-thirds of Americans “very” or “extremely” concerned about our ability to recover from the pandemic. (McKinsey)
  5. Nearly 60% of online purchasers are new to e-commerce, and most expect to keep shopping online after the pandemic. (McKinsey)
  6. Homebuying has overcome negative effects of the coronavirus, with demand now 25% above pre-pandemic levels. (Redfin)
  7. Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes jumped to 58 (from 37). Any reading above 50 is considered positive. (National Association of Home Builders)
  8. Outdoor spaces, bathroom renovations and kitchen remodels are headlining home improvement wish lists. (Kitchen & Bath Design News)
  9. Digital ad spending should stabilize this summer and recover in the back half of the year, ending 2020 at $130 billion for +2%. (Ad Age)
  10. Pandemic-related messaging left an amazing 84% of consumers with an improved or unchanged opinion of the brand. (MediaPost)

As a reminder, on a weekly basis, Wray Ward will continue to publish timely information, trends and advice related to the coronavirus.*

If you have questions or want to discuss specific next steps for your brand, please feel free to contact me.

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