New index shows we have a long way to go
Aug 24, 2020
CNN – We’re coming up on six months since Covid-19 turned the world upside down. We are adjusting, but few things feel normal. Certainly not in our daily lives.
Most of us are wearing masks and social distancing, while our favorite sports teams play in empty stadiums and arenas. Our work lives are hardly typical, either. Lots of us are unemployed, and many of us fortunate to have jobs continue to work from home.
How far from normal are we? And how much progress are we making toward whatever “normal” will mean in the future?
These are tough questions, but CNN Business and Moody’s Analytics have teamed up to take a crack at answering them with regard to the economy.
The US economy remains far from normal. That’s the bottom line. Based on the Back-to-Normal Index that we constructed, the US economy was operating at only 78% of normal as of August 19.
“Normal” for our purpose is the economy as it stood prior to when the pandemic struck in early March.
Economic activity nationwide is down by almost one-fourth from its pre-pandemic level — far from normal.
As bad as that is, it is substantially better than the darkest days of the pandemic in mid-April, when we were unsure how contagious or virulent the virus was.
Nonessential businesses in much of the country were shut down, and most of us were sheltering in place … Read more.