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JPMorgan Sees Restaurant Spending as Predictor of Virus’s Spread

A worker grills meat and vegetables as customers wait in line to order take-out at a restaurant in New York on June 20.

A worker grills meat and vegetables as customers wait in line to order take-out at a restaurant in New York on June 20.

Photographer: Christopher Occhicone/Bloomberg

Americans trying to predict where the next wave of virus outbreaks will hit may want to look at where local shoppers get their food.

That’s according to JPMorgan Chase & Co., which found the level of in-person spending in restaurants three weeks ago was the strongest predictor of where new cases would emerge. Similarly, higher spending in supermarkets indicated a slower spread, suggesting shoppers in those regions may be living more cautiously.