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COVID, Hurricane Hamper Recovery

Crack are beginning to show in the economic recovery we hoped was under way after encouraging signs this spring and summer. The double whammy of individuals’ failure to do what is necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, and natural disasters such as Hurricane Ida, means U.S. industrial production slowed to only a 0.4% gain in August.

The hurricane shut down petroleum refineries and petrochemical plants (and other plants) along the Gulf Coast.

The Federal Reserve reported that, combined with lost oil production, accounted for the loss of 0.3 percentage points from output. But we’ve got other problems on our hands. Labor shortages continue because of the resurgence of the pandemic, and the hesitancy of some to re-enter the workforce.

“The industrial recovery is losing steam and with the delta variant causing disruption to global supply chains and Hurricane Ida weighing on oil production, a further slowdown looks likely in September,” said Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics.

How do we turn this around before the recovery falters completely? Well, we can’t stop natural disasters, but we can control how we react to COVID-19. It is in your power to help our economy, reduce dependence on the federal government, keep our kids learning in classrooms and keep yourself safe.

Hunter says we are already looking at another slowdown in September. What else awaits us, if we don’t do the right thing or if Mother Nature rears her head once again?

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