States are taking differing approaches to reopening and closing during the pandemic, and the economy has been feeling the impact. More than half of states have instituted statewide mask mandates to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Some have imposed curfews and group size limits for bars and restaurants. The economic worry tied to rising coronavirus cases has impacted the health of certain areas of the economy.
These five charts illustrate trends in important industries that help track reopening progress in the U.S.
Still hovering around 40% above Jan. 13 pre-pandemic data, requests for walking and driving directions from Apple‘s navigation tool, Maps, shows little change from last week. Requests for both are also still well above pre-pandemic levels, as they have been for most of the pandemic and not far from pandemic highs seen during the summer. Transit direction requests have continued to sit at about 50% lower than on Jan. 13, as they have for most of the summer.
U.S. restaurant bookings have steadied over recent weeks, staying near 60% less than last year, data from the booking app OpenTable shows. Multiple states have enacted mask orders. Some have enacted last calls, group size limits and curfews for bars and restaurants meant to stop large gatherings at these businesses beginning this week. There was some fluctuation in bookings day to day, but the data continues to reflect the uncertainty caused by reopening and closing measures.
Hotel occupancy has stayed basically the same over the last two weeks tracked, rising only 0.6%. This places occupancy at approximately 48%, according to data from the global hospitality research company STR. U.S. occupancy in July 2019 was at 73.8%. The average daily cost for a hotel room was also up $1 over the previous week. Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia remained a top travel market – and the only to reach 60% capacity – but Detroit has stayed at over 50% capacity for another week after having previously experienced capacity below 30%. Orlando and Miami both barely cracked 30% capacity.
The number of passengers traveling through airport security checkpoints still shows daily changes between 70% and 80% year over year change, continuing the trend seen over recent weeks, according to data from the Transportation Security Administration. The number of people traveling through security checkpoints hit a pandemic-high in early July at around 60% below last year, but has dipped into the 70% range since then. Recent spikes in infection rates and travel restrictions in states have prompted airlines to slim their flight offerings, and industry leaders say a full recovery likely won’t come without a coronavirus vaccine available.
Mortgage applications to purchase a home decreased 1% compared with the previous week, but applications are still up approximately 20% over a year ago, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The changes in interest in home purchases reflects the concerns seen over the duration of the pandemic, as economic uncertainty, the changing employment status of potential buyers and shutdowns have gripped the industry. MBA leadership said the changing trends could be connected to the economic worry tied to rising coronavirus cases.