U.S. businesses hammered by pandemic but see some green shoots, Fed says

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U.S. businesses continued to be slammed by the effects of the novel coronavirus epidemic into the middle of May, a Federal Reserve report showed on Wednesday, and few expected a swift recovery despite some signs of hope.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks to reporters after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates in an emergency move designed to shield the world's largest economy from the impact of the coronavirus, during a news conference in Washington, U.S., March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

“Economic activity declined in all districts – falling sharply in most,” the Fed said in its report. “Although many contacts expressed hope that overall activity would pick up as businesses reopened, the outlook remained highly uncertain and most contacts were pessimistic about the potential pace of recovery.”

In the Minneapolis Fed district, some hotels in Montana and other areas dependent on tourism reported improvements in reservations toward the end of June and into July. Banks reported strong demand for Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans made available by the U.S. government to help keep small businesses afloat if they rehire most of their workers, but firms expressed some dissatisfaction, echoing criticism of the program.

Some of those jobs in the most affected industries such as leisure, travel and hospitality are unlikely to swiftly return and other businesses are navigating how to accommodate social distancing requirements, which could mean fewer customers. Consumer confidence also remains low. “We are at the beginning ... and I would expect that process to be something that plays out over the next 120 days. There will be a learning process there by different businesses that keeps customers confident and keeps their own workforce confident.”


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still incapable of grasping that framing this crisis in supply-side terms is a devastating journalistic failure that ignores everything we’ve learned about market economies.

Those green shoots are some expensive ass microgreens. How do I buy stock in green ink?

Green shoots WHAT or WHO. And WHO is 'green' ? Follow the money...

US contact tracer WHISTLEBLOWER reveals all the scary stuff. Are we next?

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