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Monday, June 29, 2020

Six High Frequency Indicators for a Recovery

by Calculated Risk on 6/29/2020 08:37:00 AM

These indicators are mostly for travel and entertainment - some of the sectors that will probably recover very slowly.

The TSA is providing daily travel numbers.

TSA Traveler Data Click on graph for larger image.

This data shows the daily total traveler throughput from the TSA for 2019 (Blue) and 2020 (Red).

On June 28th there were 633,810 travelers compared to 2,632,030 a year ago.

That is a decline of 76%. There has been a slow steady increase from the bottom, but air travel is still down significantly.

The second graph shows the year-over-year change in diners as tabulated by OpenTable for the US and several selected cities.

Move Box OfficeThanks to OpenTable for providing this restaurant data:

This data is updated through June 27, 2020.

The spike in diners was for Father's Day, June 21st.  If there is an increase in cases due to Father's Day dining, they will show up in the data approximately two to weeks after the event (the second week in July).

This data is "a sample of restaurants on the OpenTable network across all channels: online reservations, phone reservations, and walk-ins. For year-over-year comparisons by day, we compare to the same day of the week from the same week in the previous year."

Note that this data is for "only the restaurants that have chosen to reopen in a given market".

New York is still off 82%.

Florida is only down 49% YoY (declining from a week ago, probably due to the recent surge in COVID cases).

Move Box OfficeThis data shows domestic box office for each week (red) and the maximum and minimum for the previous four years.  Data is from BoxOfficeMojo through June 25th.

Note that the data is usually noisy week-to-week and depends on when blockbusters are released.

Movie ticket sales have picked up a little, but are still under $1 million per week (compared to usually around $300 million per week), and ticket sales have essentially been at zero for fourteen weeks.

Most  movie theaters are closed all across the country, and will probably reopen slowly (probably with limited seating at first).

The following graph shows the seasonal pattern for the hotel occupancy rate using the four week average.

Hotel Occupancy RateThe red line is for 2020, dash light blue is 2019, blue is the median, and black is for 2009 (the worst year probably since the Great Depression for hotels).

2020 was off to a solid start, however, COVID-19 crushed hotel occupancy.

Notes: Y-axis doesn't start at zero to better show the seasonal change.

Usually hotel occupancy starts to pick up seasonally in early June. So even though the occupancy rate was up compared to last week, the year-over-year decline only slightly improved this week compared to the previous three weeks  (41.8% decline vs 43.4% last week, 45.3% two weeks ago, and 43.2% decline three weeks ago).

gasoline ConsumptionThis graph, based on weekly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), shows the year-over-year change in gasoline consumption.

At one point, gasoline consumption was off almost 50% YoY.

As of June 19th, gasoline consumption was only off about 9% YoY (about 91% of normal).

The final graph is from Apple mobility. From Apple: "This data is generated by counting the number of requests made to Apple Maps for directions in select countries/regions, sub-regions, and cities." This is just a general guide - people that regularly commute probably don't ask for directions.

There is also some great data on mobility from the Dallas Fed Mobility and Engagement Index. However the index is set "relative to its weekday-specific average over January–February", and is not seasonally adjusted, so we can't tell if an increase in mobility is due to recovery or just the normal increase in the Spring and Summer.

Apple Mobility Data This data is through June 27th for the United States and several selected cities.

IMPORTANT: All data is relative to January 13, 2020. This data is NOT Seasonally Adjusted. People walk and drive more when the weather is nice, so I'm just using the transit data.

According to the Apple data directions requests, public transit in the US is still only about 46% of the January level. It is at 33% in New York, and 61% in Houston.