The Federal Reserve is worried. The central bankers released the minutes from the last Fed meeting on Wednesday and they weren’t pretty.
In the notes from the Fed meeting, officials were reassured that hiring was picking up last month, but they indicated they aren’t looking for a strong rebound from here.
In the Fed meeting notes, central bankers expect that many businesses won’t reopen. Ever.
The Fed doesn’t think consumer spending will bounce back to pre-crisis levels, not even well into next year.
They don’t think most people will be quick to return to “high-tough” activities, according to the Fed meeting notes That means businesses like restaurants, gyms, casinos and concerts will be slow to return to normal.
In fact, the Fed expects that most consumers – at least the ones still working – will opt to save money in case things get worse from here.
If the Fed’s right, that’s bad news for the economy.
Instead of a V-shaped recovery, the economy will basically just limp along from here. While that doesn’t mean the stock markets will tank, it does mean earnings growth will slow and there’s little reason to expect them to take off.
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The Big News . . .
Florida Coronavirus Cases Top 200,000
Florida health officials announced on Sunday that more than 200,000 have tested positive for the coronavirus. The news came after the state reported a new single-day record of 11,400 cases on Saturday. Because of the rapid spread of the virus, health officials closed many of the state’s beaches for the July 4th weekend.
Testing in Pools?
Federal health officials are working to stretch coronavirus testing supplies by combining samples into a single test. Instead of testing each sample individually, samples will be combined into batches and tested. If the combined test comes back negative, then everyone in the pool of samples is clear. If it comes back positive, each patient in the pool will have to be retested. The method isn’t perfect, but it could reduce consumption of testing supplies by 50% to 60%.
California Beats Florida
California reported more than 11,700 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the highest single-day case number of any state in the U.S. Many observers believe California will begin target shutdowns within the next few days.
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The Coronavirus Numbers
Here are the numbers from Monday at 8:31 a.m. ET:
- 11,590,635 Infected worldwide
- 537,436 Global deaths
- 2,984,821 Infected in the U.S.
- 132,610 Deaths in the U.S.
It’s safe to say there’s a lot of uncertainty right now.
With infections spiking and states rolling back their plans to reopen, all we can do right now is wait and see what happens, and hope the Fed is wrong.
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