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Getting to Accuracy: Measuring COVID-19 by Mortality Rates and Percentage Changes
Comparing the trajectory of the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States to that of other countries can provide important insights into how the virus is progressing in the United States and the effectiveness of our response. The quality of those insights depends on the data we choose to compare and how we conduct that comparison. This report argues that cumulative mortality rates and their percentage changes are the best available measures for comparing the trajectory of the epidemic in different countries. Based on these measures, the epidemic in the United States has a similar mortality rate ...
A Speeding Rate Starts to Slow: COVID-19 Mortality Rates by State
The cumulative COVID-19 mortality rate of the United States has doubled or more each week between February 29, 2020 and April 12, 2020. Thankfully, doubling has stopped in several states as of April 12, 2020. One of these states, Louisiana, had the third-highest COVID-19 mortality rate in the country. In the Cleveland Fed’s District,1 the growth in mortality rates has continued to slow in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia, but not in Pennsylvania. However, in most states mortality rates are still rising rapidly—mortality rates doubled or more between April 5, 2020 and April 12, 2020 in 37 ...
How Much Help Do State and Local Governments Need? Updated Estimates of Revenue Losses from Pandemic Mitigation
I estimate that state and local governments have lost $141 billion of revenue from all sources in fiscal year 2020 (FY20) due to the COVID-19 mitigation shutdowns. Under three scenarios of increasing severity, I estimate that state and local governments will need to cut expenditures by between $59 billion and $350 billion in fiscal year 2021 (FY21) to offset impending loses of revenue. Some of the revenue losses can be offset by the rainy day funds that state and local governments have set aside during the expansion, but jurisdictions that lack a fiscal buffer may face painfully deep service ...
Fourth District Business Response to COVID-19: Early Findings
The coronavirus outbreak has landed hard on economic activity in the Fourth Federal Reserve District. Businesses in the region, which encompasses Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia, are experiencing many challenges—a sharp pullback in demand, the need to furlough workers and shutter factories, and a cloud of uncertainty hanging over their outlooks for recovery.
Estimates of State and Local Government Revenue Losses from Pandemic Mitigation
This data brief presents estimates of the impacts of the COVID-19 mitigation shutdowns on US state and local income and sales tax revenue. The author estimates that these revenues will decline by $54 billion in fiscal year 2020 (FY20). Depending on the speed of the recovery over the next fiscal year, another $25 billion to $137 billion of revenue may be lost. If states split their rainy day funds between FY20 and fiscal year 2021 (FY21) to offset these revenue declines, the shortfalls would be reduced to $21 billion in FY20 and $4 billion to $78 billion in FY21.
Layoffs during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Four Findings from WARN Act Data
With economic conditions changing so rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic, the standard layoff indicators that policymakers and analysts use are falling short. These indicators are either not released frequently enough, or they lack geographic or industry information. Some indicators, such as initial unemployment insurance claims, may be less accurate under the current extreme conditions because of processing delays, duplicate claims, and fraud.2
Were Fourth District Local Governments Ready for a Recession? How the Great Recession Influenced How Much They Save
While almost no one anticipated the pandemic-induced shutdown of economic activity experienced this year, local government officials know that the business cycle will sooner or later pull down tax revenues. During years of expansion, cities and counties should be setting aside resources that will enable them to lessen the cuts necessary to balance their budgets during a recession. How prepared were the local governments of the Cleveland Fed’s Fourth District for the COVID-19 crisis?1 Looking at the most recent data available for a sample of the District’s largest cities and counties, we ...