This week's insights:
- US Auto Sales
- Air Travel: Days to Departure
- Small Business: Hours Worked
- Small Business: Revenue and Reopenings
- Large Company Hiring
- B2B Payments
1 — US Auto Sales
The tentative rebound that we saw in US auto sales in early April (and highlighted in a previous newsletter) seems to be confirmed. Weekly sales across all manufacturers are now 30% lower than last year’s levels (up from 50% lower at the end of March) and rising steadily.
Source: Quandl proprietary data on daily US auto sales, inferred from sales of auto insurance policies.
2 — Air Travel: Days to Departure
We see similar signs of returning consumer confidence in our air travel data. After postponing travel dramatically in late March and early April, US passengers have once again begun searching for flights with closer departure dates. However, passengers from other countries are less optimistic. China, Italy, Germany and the UK have all recently seen increases in days to departure for flight searches.
Source: Quandl proprietary data — aggregated first-party customer air travel intent over 70,000 routes for 800 airlines at 4,000 airports.
Note on interpretation: “days-to-departure” refers to how far into the future customers are searching for their flights. In each country we see a common pattern where passengers rush to complete essential trips or return home in advance of lockdowns (days-to-departure lower than in 2019); they then postpone trips while restrictions remain in place (days-to-departure higher than 2019); and eventually they anticipate a return to normalcy (days-to-departure reverting to 2019 levels).
3 — Small Business: Hours Worked
The increase in consumer confidence captured in the car sales and flight search data above could be driven by the performance of small business…
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