Here are five charts illustrating U.S. economic trends amid the coronavirus pandemic

By | July 26, 2020

States are taking differing approaches to reopening and closing during the pandemic, and the economy has been feeling the impact. More than half of states have instituted statewide mask mandates to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and some have imposed curfews and group size limits for bars and restaurants. 

These five charts illustrate trends in important industries that help track reopening progress in the U.S.

Direction requests

Requests for walking and driving directions from Apple‘s navigation tool, Maps, shows little change from last week as the requests have flattened off at approximately 40% above Jan. 13 requests. Walking and driving requests are still meeting summer highs seen in late June before a dip in early July. Requests for both are also still well above pre-pandemic levels, as they have been for most of the pandemic. Transit direction requests have stayed nearly stagnant over the past few weeks, though this week saw another slight increase over last week, as requests continue to take a large hit from the pandemic.

Restaurant bookings

U.S. restaurant bookings reflect continued uncertainty over reopening and closing measures in states, data from OpenTable shows. Multiple states have enacted mask orders, and some have enacted last calls, group size limits and curfews for bars and restaurants meant to stop large gatherings at these businesses. This week’s numbers show the ongoing volatility as the reopening requirements for these bars and restaurants continues to change on local and state levels. There was some daily variation in bookings over the last week, but the year-over-year change stayed similar to where it was a week ago: just above a 60% drop year over year.

Hotel occupancy

Hotel occupancy has seen a slight increase over the past week after having remained stagnant since mid-June, though occupancy remains at approximately 47%, according to data from the global hospitality research company STR. U.S. occupancy in July 2019 was at 73.8%. The average daily cost of for a hotel room only took a slight dip from last week, coming in at 28% lower than a comparable week in 2019. Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia remained a top travel market – and the only to reach 60% capacity – but Detroit shot up from sub-30% capacity last week to over 50% capacity.

Air travel

The number of passengers traveling through airport security checkpoints still sits below 70% of last year, showing slight daily change but little change across previous weeks, according to data from the Transportation Security Administration. The number of people traveling through security checkpoints hit a pandemic-high in early July at around 60% below last year. As airlines began reporting earnings this week, the CEOs of American Airlines and Southwest Airlines both said the industry likely wouldn’t see a full recovery until a vaccine became available. Recent spikes in infection rates and travel restrictions in states has also prompted airlines to slim their flight offerings.

Home purchases

Mortgage applications to purchase a home increased 2% from last week and is 19% higher than last year, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. This increase follows ups and downs over the duration of the pandemic, as economic uncertainty, the changing employment status of potential buyers and shutdowns have gripped the industry.  Total mortgage volume was up 4% over last week.

Health and Science