In the thirteenth weekly COVID-19 Update webinar from Meyers Research, chief economist Ali Wolf and senior managing principal Tim Sullivan continue to navigate what Wolf calls a “wild ride” of economic twists, turns and contradictions.

According to Wolf, any risk of economic damage stemming from the ongoing protests is “all but gone.” Now, she says, “we’re just left with peaceful protestors looking for meaningful change.”

At two weeks past Memorial Day weekend, new COVID-19-related hospitalizations have reached all time highs in Texas and Arizona. At the same time, purchase mortgage applications have risen by 13% year over year as of April 10th, while Google search traffic for the phrase “should I buy a house” is falling back toward normal levels. Wolf emphasizes in both cases that “one week of a trend is not a trend, it’s a data point”, but notes that Meyers will continue to follow these metrics closely.

As a whole, Wolf says, the economy is loaded with “mixed messages.” The National Bureau of Economic Research has officially declared the start of a recession in February. Retail purchases and restaurant visits are on the rise, owing to pent-up demand. The Federal Reserve anticipates that it will not perform any rate increases until 2022, and will provide “more support as needed” to keep the markets functioning.

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