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Economics

These Five Warning Signs Highlight Virus’s Rapid Economic Impact

  • Hotel occupancy plunges and consumers avoid venturing out
  • Americans focus on emergency buying of food, household goods
Empty sidewalks are seen in front of the Saks store in New York.
Empty sidewalks are seen in front of the Saks store in New York.Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

The economic losses from the coronavirus have transitioned from hints of serious difficulties just a week ago to a devastating stoppage at countless U.S. restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, gyms and other service providers, with millions of employees now idled.

While still largely invisible in the mostly dated official economic data, the destruction is clear in private reports on hotels, dining establishments and theaters, many of which are now closed. The key questions center around how much more deterioration remains and how long it will last.