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Is economic recovery here? Delta variant creates lag, but mix of optimism and concern leave questions

Is the economy still recovering? While the Delta variant of COVID-19 has prompted concerns over the future of economic recovery, a few positive signs could mean less worry in upcoming weeks.

Economists agree, if the economy is going to continue improving, then the Delta variant needs to be brought under control so that cases can fall.

So far that hasn’t happened, but one thing giving some economists and public health officials hope is the slowing of new delta variant cases in the U.S. The news still isn’t great, as the national average is hovering around 150,000 new cases a day, but it’s not increasing at the rate it did last year. That’s largely due to increased vaccination rates.

“The percent increases in cases and hospitalizations are declining each week, indicating progression towards a nationwide peak,” Chris Meekins, health policy research analyst at Raymond James told CNBC. “While a few days later than predicted, the Southern states that were initially hardest hit by the delta variant appear to be peaking or have peaked.”


Economic recovery has not been universal or ‘one size fits all’. In fact, the recovery has been opposite. While some sectors, like tourism and travel are seeing boosts, other areas are struggling for different reasons – like food and service industries lacking staff, resulting in reduced hours.

The major, looming question for the economy has to do with its strength heading into the 4th quarter. Will the fall and holiday months offer continued growth and success for this rebounding economy? Or will rising cases and colder weather prompt a slow down?

Economists say the answer awaits in the data from the next two months.



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