U.S. Economic News

April 7, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell 8.1 points to 96.4 in March, the largest monthly decline in the survey’s history, as nine components weakened and one improved. The decline in the headline index was driven by deteriorating expectations for sales and economic conditions as small businesses brace for further disruptions. NFIB Report

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”) indicates that the number of job openings at the end of February was little changed at 6.9 million, before widespread coronavirus disruptionsThe number of hires was little changed at 5.9 million, while the quits rate was unchanged at 2.3 percent. BLS Report

U.S. News

A new poll by the Financial Times shows that nearly three-fourths of Americans say their family’s income has already been reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic, with nearly half reporting that they would be without any income at all if they were unable to work due to illness. The financial hit from coronavirus is being felt across income groups, suggesting that the pandemic is hitting professional services as well as main street businesses. FT

The Washington Post reports that the White House and congressional leadership are discussing the need for a new assistance package as it becomes clear that the $2 trillion stimulus enacted last month will not be enough to contain the pandemic’s economic impact. The follow-up effort will likely be an extension of programs created by the original Cares Act, and may included extended small business assistance and unemployment aid, another round of direct payments, additional corporate aid, and more funding for the overwhelmed health care system. WaPo