mines the recovery, there are mounting reasons to be worried that it may become a significant headwind to near- term economic growth,” noted Mark Zandi, Chief Econo- mist at Moody’s Analytics. “Consumers are increasingly nervous about the variant, sparking concerns they will turn skittish in their spending. Retail sales for July declined, while the University of Michigan’s survey of consumer sentiment pulled back sharply in early August and is now lower than it was during the worst of the pandemic last spring. Spiking inflation isn’t helping consumers’ moods.” Businesses’ expectations regarding the economy’s prospects for the remainder of this year have also di- minished significantly. The number of respondents to a Moody’s survey say the economy will continue to improve has declined from more than 60 percent to less than half, and those that say the economy will weaken has increased from near 30 percent to more than 40 percent. This hasn’t impacted businesses’ hiring and investment decisions yet, according to the survey, but it bears watching, as the job market and broader economic recovery would be in jeop- ardy if businesses pull back on hiring and investments. “The Delta Variant should also serve as notice that there will likely be more variants that may be more con- tagious and virulent,” said Zandi. “The higher the percent- age of the population that remains unvaccinated, the more likely this will happen.” Storat: Delta Variant (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )
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September 27, 2021
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