Though states are reporting new surges in Covid-19 cases, pausing reopening measures and even re-instituting business restrictions, specific economic sectors have continued to see improvement. Consumers are eating out at restaurants, traveling more and visiting hotels amid the official start to the busy summer season.
These five charts illustrate trends in important industries that help track reopening progress in the U.S.
Data from navigation tool Apple maps tells a different story depending on the mode of transportation. While requests for driving and walking directions have surpassed pre-pandemic levels, transit directions continue to recover much more slowly. Though that may change as more employees return to work in urban centers like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, requests for transit directions are still at half of what they were in early March.
Restaurant bookings through reservation service OpenTable dropped to zero in late March and throughout April before picking back up in May once states eased restrictions on in-person dining. While bookings have risen to a level of being down 60% compared to last year, the upward trend has the potential to stall out as states like Texas and Florida pause their reopening plans amid coronavirus outbreaks.
Hotels' occupancy rates have continued their upward trend and now measure at 44%, according to data from global hospitality research company STR. The new figures mark the tenth consecutive week occupancy rates have increased. Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia as well as Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida were both top travel markets that saw occupancy rates of 54% and 49% respectively. However, New York City had an occupancy rate of 44%, down from 46% the week prior.
The number of passengers traveling each day through airport security checkpoints is down more than 70% compared to last year, according to data from the Transportation Security Administration. The numbers represent continued improvement for the troubled air travel industry. American Airlines announced Friday that it will resume flying full planes on July 1 after having a 70% capacity limit for flights.
Though mortgage applications for purchasing a single-family home are 18% higher compared to the same week last year, they did see a slight decrease from last week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Even with continued high unemployment and economic uncertainty stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, the MBA said the home purchase market is still strong.