States are taking different approaches to reopening and closing during the pandemic, and the economy has felt the effects. More than half of the states have introduced nationwide mask mandates to slow the spread of the corona virus, and some have introduced curfews and group size restrictions for bars and restaurants.
These five charts illustrate trends in key industries that help track progress in reopening in the United States.
Requests for walking and directions via the Apple navigation tool "Maps" have changed little since last week, as requests compared to the requests from January 13th have decreased by about 40%. Hiking and driving requests still meet the summer highs from the end of June before a break in early July. Requests for both are still well above pre-pandemic levels, as was the case with most pandemics. Requests for transit directions have almost stagnated in recent weeks, although this week has increased slightly from last week as requests continue to have a major impact on the pandemic.
US restaurant bookings reflect ongoing uncertainty about state reopening and closure measures, according to data from OpenTable. Several states have issued mask orders, and some have issued recent calls, group size restrictions, and curfews for bars and restaurants to stop large gatherings in these companies. This week's numbers show continued volatility as the requirements for reopening these bars and restaurants continue to change at local and state levels. There have been some daily fluctuations in bookings over the past week, but the change from the previous year remained similar to a week ago: just over 60% from the previous year.
Hotel occupancy rose slightly last week after stagnating since mid-June, although occupancy remains at around 47%, according to global hotel research firm STR. The US occupancy rate was 73.8% in July 2019. The average daily cost of a hotel room was only slightly lower than last week, down 28% from a comparable week in 2019. Norfolk / Virginia Beach, Virginia remained a top travel market – and reached only 60% capacity – but Detroit rose from under 30% capacity to over 50% last week.
The number of passengers traveling through airport security checks is still below 70% of the previous year and, according to the Transportation Security Administration, shows minor daily changes, but only minor changes compared to previous weeks. The number of people traveling through security controls reached a pandemic high in early July, around 60% lower than the previous year. When airlines started reporting profits this week, CEOs of American Airlines and Southwest Airlines said the industry was unlikely to see a full recovery until a vaccine became available. The recent increases in infection rates and travel restrictions in the states have also caused airlines to reduce their flight offerings.
Mortgage applications for home purchases rose 2% from last week and are 19% higher than a year earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. This surge follows ups and downs throughout the pandemic as economic uncertainty, changing employment status of potential buyers and downtimes have hit the industry. Total mortgage volume increased 4% from last week.