Seven High Frequency Indicators for the Economy
These indicators are mostly for travel and entertainment. It is interesting to watch these sectors recover as the pandemic subsides.
—– Airlines: Transportation Security Administration —–
The TSA is providing daily travel numbers.
This data is as of December 5th.
This data shows the 7-day average of daily total traveler throughput from the TSA for 2019 (Light Blue), 2020 (Blue) and 2021 (Red).
The dashed line is the percent of 2019 for the seven-day average.
The 7-day average is down 15.2% from the same day in 2019 (84.8% of 2019). (Dashed line)
The second graph shows the 7-day average of the year-over-year change in diners as tabulated by OpenTable for the US and several selected cities.
This data is updated through December 4, 2021.
This data is “a sample of restaurants on the OpenTable network across all channels: online reservations, phone reservations, and walk-ins. For year-over-year comparisons by day, we compare to the same day of the week from the same week in the previous year.”
Note that this data is for “only the restaurants that have chosen to reopen in a given market”. Since some restaurants have not reopened, the actual year-over-year decline is worse than shown.
Dining picked up for the Labor Day weekend but declined after the holiday – and is mostly moving sideways. The 7-day average for the US is unchanged compared to 2019.
Note that the data is usually noisy week-to-week and depends on when blockbusters are released.
Movie ticket sales were at $123 million last week, down about 36% from the median for the week.
This graph shows the seasonal pattern for the hotel occupancy rate using the four week average.
The red line is for 2021, black is 2020, blue is the median, dashed purple is 2019, and dashed light blue is for 2009 (the worst year on record for hotels prior to 2020).
This data is through November 27th. The occupancy rate was up 5.0% compared to the same week in 2019. This was the first week this year that was up compared to the same week in 2019.
Notes: Y-axis doesn’t start at zero to better show the seasonal change.
This graph, based on weekly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), shows gasoline supplied compared to the same week of 2019.
Blue is for 2020. Red is for 2021.
As of November 26th, gasoline supplied was down 2.6% compared to the same week in 2019.
There have been ten weeks this year that gasoline supplied was up compared to the same week in 2019 – so consumption is running close to 2019 levels now.
—– Transit: Apple Mobility —–
This graph is from Apple mobility. From Apple: “This data is generated by counting the number of requests made to Apple Maps for directions in select countries/regions, sub-regions, and cities.” This is just a general guide – people that regularly commute probably don’t ask for directions.
There is also some great data on mobility from the Dallas Fed Mobility and Engagement Index. However the index is set “relative to its weekday-specific average over January–February”, and is not seasonally adjusted, so we can’t tell if an increase in mobility is due to recovery or just the normal increase in the Spring and Summer.
The graph is the running 7-day average to remove the impact of weekends.
IMPORTANT: All data is relative to January 13, 2020. This data is NOT Seasonally Adjusted. People walk and drive more when the weather is nice, so I’m just using the transit data.
According to the Apple data directions requests, public transit in the 7-day average for the US is at 108% of the January 2020 level.
—– New York City Subway Usage —–
Here is some interesting data on New York subway usage (HT BR).
This graph is from Todd W Schneider.
This data is through Friday, December 3rd.
He notes: “Data updates weekly from the MTA’s public turnstile data, usually on Saturday mornings”.