MIAMI – Economists believe this is a critical time for South Florida and the continued health of the economy.
Many local jobs depend on whether policies and public behavior promote the transmission of COVID-19 or work to limit it.
“The real risk is that things will start to stagnate a bit until the variant is brought under control,” said Adam Kamins, director of economic research at Moody’s Analytics.
If policies are put in place to facilitate rather than limit transmission, they could impact various aspects of the local economy.
“We could see workers coming back to the remoteness, we could see local school closures if there were epidemics, so I think this is all creating significant disruption in the economy and it could hurt south of. Florida, ”Kamins said.
Consumer confidence is also sagging amid the summer’s “unvaccinated pandemic”.
“There’s a lot of growing risk now, so I think if the Delta variant continues to boom in South Florida, it could slow the pace of the recovery dramatically for now,” Kamins said.
Economists said the rapid rise in cases could quickly stifle economic gains as unmitigated contagion scares consumers.
Mallory Newman of global research firm Ipsos says their research shows consumer confidence is dropping sharply.
“The level of perceived risk with certain activities, like dining out or going out to shops, is on the rise again, so once again we are at this difficult point where we have to deal with the increase in cases and the uncertainty of what that means for the economy, while trying to want to go ahead and reopen, but do it safely, ”she said.
Newman said Ipsos’ latest consumer confidence indicator showed that as of last week, consumer confidence was “down sharply” amid the summer surge.
“With the increase in COVID cases, consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level since February 2021,” Ipsos researchers have found.
Newman added, “We are seeing growing concerns about jobs and the economy. “
Newman said other research ideas include:
- Overall consumer confidence is on the decline
- The comfort of household spending has waned as it emerges as one of the biggest concerns of the week
- Americans are also concerned about job security, as the job index (covers job security, personal experience of job loss, and job prospects) has also decreases.
Mitigating cases to help the health of the economy
This summer’s so-called “unvaccinated pandemic” fueled by variants now threatens to slow Florida’s economy, says Adam Kamins of Moody’s Analytics, which forecasts the outlook for metropolitan economies.
“Consumers are a little scared of the variant and it could have a significant impact on consumer industries, which have already been hit extremely hard in South Florida, even more so than the rest of the United States,” he said. Kamins said.
Kamins added that another variable they are monitoring is the impact of the unmitigated spread of cases on business travel.
“It’s like taking back control of the virus, and as long as the variant is raging I think business travel is going to be very depressed, which has major implications for hotels and restaurants in South Florida,” did he declare.
Experts say South Florida is at a critical crossroads, as livelihoods may depend on non-partisan efforts to mitigate cases, like masks and vaccines.
“The top three factors in reducing the spread of the disease are social distancing, masking, and the vaccine,” said Geoff Luebkemann of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “And these are not political statements or political choices, they are public health interventions. “
Kamins said, “I think if enough people get vaccinated and the right precautions are in place. If the right things are done now, there is a possibility that the economy will be on the move, sort of back on the path it is on, by fall and early winter. Mask warrants and doing things like allowing schools to impose mask warrants to reduce transmission, these are relatively less costly economically and would actually improve job security for everyone. , but mostly people in the consumer industries who were hit so hard in the initial wave of covid.
He added that “if there are to be policies in place that promote transmission or do nothing to limit transmission, it creates significant risk for the rest of the economy. “
The vaccine rollout that helped spur economic recovery during this “unvaccinated pandemic” could threaten these gains.
You may remember how the economic recovery and rebound in travel, essential to Florida’s tourism-dependent economy, came together with the vaccine rollout.
“Overall, the vaccine has been the main driver of change in traffic and revenue generation, both on the food and accommodation side,” Luebkemann said. “Without a doubt, the vaccine and the consumer confidence generated by it really helped unleash some of the pent-up demand we have seen from both travelers and visitors to our state, as well as our residents. locals leaving and frequenting their favorite restaurants.
Luebkemann said for the moment that “demand remains strong”.
While they see a slight drop in income over the past week or so, he says this could be attributed to families prioritizing budgeting for back-to-school expenses rather than peaking Covid.
Luebkemann added that the hospitality industry continues to listen to the safety considerations expressed by guests.
“Make sure they are safe,” he said. “We are doing it and believe it is driving strong demand right now. “
Economists say it is difficult to project into the future as much will depend on the duration and severity of the current surge underway.
“We are all exhausted from this historic time,” Lubekemann said. “I beg everyone who travels, goes to hotels, or goes to their favorite restaurant, be patient with us, be patient with each other, and we will overcome this if we are kind to each other. “
FRLA’s highest designation for hospitality safety and sanitation standards, the Seal of Commitment, is a promise that your restaurant or hotel meets safety and health standards, as designated by the FRLA
NEW DATA: Interactive visual hotel forecast dashboards produced by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB)
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