With states continuing to lift coronavirus restrictions, people across the U.S. have felt more comfortable traveling, taking transit, eating out and even moving to a new home.
Improvement across the travel and restaurant industries, as well as the housing market, could signal that a broader economic recovery is on the horizon even though the pandemic is still ongoing.
These five charts illustrate trends in key economic indicators that help track reopening progress in the U.S.
Travelers are relying more on Apple Maps for help regarding public transportation, according to the latest data from the navigation app. Transit directions from the app are at almost half of what they were in January as more people return to work in urban centers like New York City and San Francisco. However, requests for walking and driving directions fell lower than what they were earlier in June.
Restaurant bookings are down more than 60% compared to last year, according to data from online reservation service OpenTable. Bookings were down 100% in part of March and all of April, as restaurants across the country could only offer pick-up and delivery instead of onsite dining. However, reservation bookings began to rise in May as states eased restrictions and enabled diners to eat out again.
Hotels are filling up more with an occupancy rate of about 42%, according to data from global hospitality research company STR. With more kids out of school and summer weather underway, families across the country may be looking forward to traveling. Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia was the only major travel market to achieve above a 50% hotel occupancy rate, but was followed close behind by Phoenix, New York City and Tampa, Fla., according to STR.
The number of daily travelers going through airport security checkpoints is down around 80% compared to last year, according to data from the Transportation Security Administration. Passenger numbers have crept up steadily since they plummeted in March during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. The air travel industry is now waiting to see if passenger numbers make a bigger rebound during the busy summer season.
Mortgage applications for buying a single-family home are now up 21% compared to last year as mortgage rates drop to record lows, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. “Purchase applications increased to the highest level in over 11 years and for the ninth consecutive week,” said Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting at MBA. “The housing market continues to experience the release of unrealized pent-up demand from earlier this spring, as well as a gradual improvement in consumer confidence.”