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Reopening of States: Good for Economy, Bad for Coronavirus Spread


Consumer sentiment slipped in the last half of June, although it still recorded its second monthly gain over the April low. While most consumers believe that economic conditions could hardly worsen from the recent shutdown of the national economy, prospective growth in the economy is more closely tied to progress against the coronavirus. The early reopening of the economy has undoubtedly restored jobs and incomes, but it has come at the probable cost of an uptick in the spread of the virus. The Sentiment Index rose by just 0.5 Index points among Southern residents in June, and by only 3.3 Index points among Western residents (see the featured chart). In contrast, the Sentiment Index among residents of the Northeast rose by an all-time record of 19.1 Index points in June, with residents apparently expecting the later and more gradual reopening to produce at worst a negligible increase in infections.

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