COVID’s Impact on the US economy

Bloomberg has an interesting piece on the ways that COVID-19 has impacted the US economy. Some of these transformations have fast forwarded a digital transformation and look like they will permanently transform the US economy. Here are some of the stand out points from the article which you can read in full here.

Remote working is here to stay in the US

Bloomberg quote a Stanford University economist, Nick Bloom, stating that he projects that 25% of work will now be done from home. He also projects that many will seek a new job if they are required to come back to the office. As a result office occupancy rates are well below pre-pandemic levels. They are down to under 50% across a number of several major cities

COVID reduces office occupancy

Is a hot US housing market about to crash?

Demand has been strong for housing in mountain and southern US states as workers leave New York and San Francisco seeking cheaper and more rural home settings. You can see the sharp increase in housing prices across these states and the employment boost associated with the moves.  

COVID boots US house prices

Is a tight US labour market here to stay?

Bloomberg cites an ageing population, slower population growth and lower immigration as contributing to a lasting demand for labour. In the article they cite evidence from Erica Groshen at Cornell University who states that around 1 in 5 adults quit their job last year. Here was the top reasons given: 

Will this spark a revolution in the way workers are viewed. Certainly a shift is underway for companies that may want to really cement their relationships with their employees, 


Of course this one is obvious. Prior to the pandemic inflation was a genie that just wouldn’t come out of the bottle. Inflation is now driven by supply chain issues, geo-political tensions, and surging energy prices. How much longer it will last is the crucial question.

Bloomberg’s piece is a good overview of some of the main shifts in the US economy. The main takeaway is that the recovery is very fragile and the outcome for the global economy is highly uncertain with such a threat to global security and prosperity coming from the Russian & Ukraine conflict. In the near term that means that the USD could find support on slowing global growth and risk aversion. The USD tends to gain in times of slowing growth. See the USD smile theory for a handy tool on understanding USD moves. 

The USD Smile theory: Helpful for understanding the USD

The DXY is flirting with 104.00 at the moment, around 2017 highs, but a firm bout of risk aversion + more inflation pressures for the US can see the already stretched DXY potentially push higher. 

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