New York, New York – Americans started to spend more in response to the rising COVID-19 infections from the Delta variant.
Most of the spending comes from online shopping and less on restaurants and other sectors whose sales declined after the Delta variant’s arrival.
This upsurge in buying power caught economists by surprise. In August, the Commerce Department announced that retail sales rose by .7%. This increase is significantly higher than the consensus 0.85% estimated to decrease.
Furthermore, online sales increased by 5.3% last August. Most of the online sales were from back-to-school shopping, experiencing a sales growth of 2.4% in the previous month.
Unfortunately, the same growth in online sales is not present in many restaurants and bars, the sectors that thought were already in the clear.
Fortunately, restaurants and bars remain optimistic about the reopening of the American economy. As millions received their vaccines earlier this year, these sectors were able to receive the much-needed revenue to continue business operations.
In July, the US government announced that vaccinated individuals must still wear a mask when indoors to prevent the potential spread of the Delta variant, especially in those areas with a low vaccination rate.
One of the biggest hindrances to proper growth is the vaccine hesitancy rate in the US. Most of the infections felt by different areas are from those individuals yet to receive their vaccines.
This hesitancy rate also explains the 235,000 jobs created by the Labor Department in August, which is still lower than the number of jobs in the previous months.