The U.S. Economy is Feeling the Impact of the Delta Variant

The U.S. economy has shown a downward trend as the Delta variant continues to spread rapidly. This comes as a disappointment after experiencing a second quarter that had shown rapid signs of growth. 

Each day Americans wake up to reports about the rising numbers. More and more people are wearing masks again or making the decision to reduce their social activities. So, what does that mean for the U.S. economy?

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According to Diane Swonk, Chief Economist at Grant Thornton, “What you worry about is how many disruptions are we going to continually have to deal with? In the U.S. economy, there is some downside risk that some people don’t go out and don’t go out to eat as much as they did, they don’t travel as much.”

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of U.S. goods and services produced, grew at a 6.5% annual rate in the second quarter, up slightly from a 6.3% growth rate in the first three months of the year, the Commerce Department said.

This growth was mainly fueled by the trillions of dollars in fiscal stimulus spending and consumer spending. Businesses were reopening and payrolls were growing again until now. 

Restrictions Imposed

Across the U.S. we hear of restrictions being imposed again. The President asking Governors to implement mask mandates. Businesses requiring masks again. 

Apple, Inc. is now requiring workers and customers to wear masks again and Google decided to delay its policy to return to the office. Now the discussion is coming up with businesses about requiring the vaccination or regular testing.

Supply-Chain Disruptions

One of the largest effects that have been seen through the pandemic is the lack of supplies. Car dealerships are not haggling with anyone over price. If you want it, you buy it, because the supply of new cars is almost non-existent. 

Chicken Wings are being taken off menus because of how high the price is now, due to the lack of supply. Remember when one of the Perdue facilities had a COVID-19 breakout and had to close for an extended period? The results are now showing.

With people choosing unemployment versus a steady job these days, there is a lack of a workforce. This has aided in the disruption of supply. 

Overall, economists’ projections still remain that growth will be strong unless the virus resurgence continues. Respondents to the Wall Street Journal survey forecast the economy to grow 7% in the third quarter before drifting down to a 3.3% rate in the second quarter of 2022.

When all this began Sherrill Manufacturing Inc. saw an increase in their sales as they manufacture flatware. Now they have seen that continued growth to taper off, Greg Owens, Sherrill’s Chief Executive expects sales to remain strong. His company manufactures flatware in the U.S, and he said many individuals are increasingly interested in buying American-made products because of the limited availability of many imported goods during the pandemic.

One cannot help but ask, if we focused on growing American Made, would the U.S. economy be as vulnerable as it is in the current situation?

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