Economic Roundup: Consumer Spending, Unemployment, Covid-19 Cases and Bankruptcies

Economic numbers you need to know.
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“U.S. retail spending edged higher last month despite the continuing coronavirus pandemic as a surge in online shopping boosted sales,” WSJ writes.

  • Consumer Spending in November: Up 3.1% (compared to last November and excluding car sales)
  • E-Commerce Spending: Up 53%
  • E-Commerce Share of Total Retail Sales: 18%

(According to data from Mastercard.)

“Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, have held in a historically high range of 700,000 to 800,000 since mid-October, more than three times their pre-pandemic average. They edged higher for two consecutive weeks in November, a possible sign that tougher virus restrictions might be affecting the labor market, but remain well below their late March peak of nearly seven million,” WSJ writes.

Initial Unemployment Claims Last Week: 712,000 (Down 75,000)

“The number of Covid-19-related deaths reported in a day hit a record in the U.S., and newly reported infections were at their second-highest level, surpassing 200,000 for the second time in less than a week,” WSJ writes.

  • U.S. Daily Cases: 200,070
  • Total U.S. Deaths: 3,157
  • Total U.S. Hospitalizations: 100,000

(According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.)

“November bankruptcy filings in the U.S. hit a 14-year low, driven by a decline in individuals filing for protection from creditors as they continue to enjoy the benefits of eviction moratoriums and other government assistance stemming from the coronavirus pandemic,” WSJ writes.

  • Total Bankruptcy Filings in November: 34,440
  • Commercial Chapter 11 Filings for November: Increased 40%
  • Noncommercial Chapter 13 Filings: Down 45%

Justin Oh:

It seems as if the economy is healing despite increases in cases and hospitalizations. We know that the winter lockdowns right now aren’t nearly as harsh as those in the spring, which could be the reason why the data is still generally positive.

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