GRAPHIC-Americans splurged over Labor Day weekend. That’s the good news – Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – People flocked to stores – and back to restaurants – over Labor Day weekend in the United States, setting post-pandemic highs for retail foot traffic and seated dining but also posing a puzzle. FILE PHOTO: People walk by restaurant’s outdoor patios after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced 21 more…

GRAPHIC-Americans splurged over Labor Day weekend. That’s the good news – Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – People flocked to stores – and back to restaurants – over Labor Day weekend in the United States, setting post-pandemic highs for retail foot traffic and seated dining but also posing a puzzle. FILE PHOTO: People walk by restaurant’s outdoor patios after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced 21 more locations for outdoor dining options as part of a city initiative that combines the Open Streets and Open Restaurants programs in place to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 14, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File PhotoThe upturn may be a sign that consumer confidence is returning alongside a fall in new coronavirus infections. Or it could be a one-time bright spot in a slow economic recovery that remains challenged by massive joblessness and a persistent health crisis, one many fear will intensify in coming weeks. Broad measures of the recovery ticked higher over the last week, gross domestic product estimates kept by the Atlanta and New York Federal Reserve banks have been increasing since mid-summer, and high frequency indicators from private data services have shown steady if sometimes slow progress. Graphic: NY Fed Weekly Economic Index – here Goldman Sachs economist Jan Hatzius said Sept. 8 he was “upbeat” about the direction of the global economic recovery, and saw annualized third-quarter growth in the United States hitting 35% – far higher than the median of roughly 20% seen by forecasters in a Philadelphia Federal Reserve bank survey in mid-August. Hatzius noted that even challenged service sector businesses “are adapting to the pandemic via low-cost mitigation measures,” a fact that may have contributed to some signs of progress for the beleaguered restaurant industry. Data on seated diners provided by restaurant booking site OpenTable here as of Sunday were just 14% below 2019, a level not seen since before a state of emergency was declared March 13 and a wave of mandated closures and social di
Read More From Publisher