Friday, June 12, 2020

TSA throughput is surging

The most timely indicator of just how fast the US economy is recovering has to be the TSA throughput statistics, which are released every day with only a 1-day lag. As Chart #1 shows, Americans are rapidly returning to the skies. Passenger traffic at US airports, as we can infer from these numbers, has doubled since May 16, and has quadrupled since the April 17th low. Traffic is still very low compared to last year at this time, but nevertheless things are improving rapidly.

Chart #1

Chart #2 contains data as of last week, so it's not quite as timely as the TSA data. But it paints a similar picture: people are rapidly getting back on the road.

Chart #2

UPDATE (June 18th): Here is a new and updated version of Chart #1:

I've added earlier data and I've used a log scale for the y-axis to better appreciate the rate at which things are improving. TSA is processing almost 5 times as many people today as it did at the lows of April. But there is still a long way to go to return to last year's levels. 


Jesús said...

Passenger traffic is still 20% of last year's traffic (2.5M pax/day). You should paint 2 years traffic to get a more accurate picture of the current situation.

Anonymous said...

Scott is showing the incremental progress or turning point.

steve said...

No question things are coming back-and so are virus cases. It would take a catastrophic increase to go back to closures though and I don't see it but it bears watching. My greatest concern sort of goes back to you prior post. People are getting free $ and when people get something for nothing they expect more of it. IF dems win in Nov-and there's every reason to believe they will, the spending spigot could be turned wide open an on a more permanent basis.

cbt696 said...

“ The truth is that new hospitalizations of people coming in for serious coronavirus infections are actually extremely low. What they are actually counting are the extra people coming in for all of the delayed health care caused by the lockdown. But thanks to universal testing in hospitals, they are discovering more asymptomatic cases than ever before, which had nothing to do with the original purpose of the hospital stay.”

“Thus, the dichotomy between patients who are actually being driven to the hospital by the virus vs. those who are there for other purposes and just test positive is huge and did not exist during the peak.

It’s not that the virus doesn’t exist any more, it’s that it has either become less potent, has already attacked those who would otherwise get seriously ill from it, or a mixture of both. This is why Dr. Donald Yealy, the chair of emergency medicine at UPMC, who’s been responsible for 30,000 tests in Pennsylvania, recently observed that those with the virus appear to be carrying lower viral loads and aren’t getting as sick from it as they did in March and April.

This is why in Wisconsin, where thanks to the state supreme court ruling, citizens have been free from lockdown for nearly a month, not a single COVID-19 death was reported on Tuesday. Even though the number of positive cases has not gone down that much, deaths have plummeted.“



“Our response to coronavirus has been a disaster. It has cost 40 million jobs, greatly contributed to social unrest, destroyed countless businesses both large and small, likely caused thousands of deaths of despair due to suicide and substance abuse, likely enabled significant increases in domestic abuse and child abuse, delayed the education of millions of children, added over 2.4 trillion dollars to the national debt, increased murder rates, diminished the quality of life of the vast majority of Americans, and may have literally killed 30,000 or more people who were not under threat from coronavirus.

The response to coronavirus will go down as the largest communal blunder in world history. We have transformed what would have likely been the worst flu season in a generation into unimaginable worldwide devastation.

The point isn’t that coronavirus is a hoax or doesn’t kill. Clearly given the right environment, such as in New York City, coronavirus is a major concern. The point is overall and especially outside such areas, the response isn’t just worse than the disease, the response is the disease.”


Anonymous said...

I'm starting to wonder about how the election could affect public policy and corporate profits. Recent market activity which is about six months prior seems positive. Any ideas?

WealthMony said...

I don't think investors have a clue as to who will win this presidential election. I doubt polls are really that reliable. Once the conventions are finished and the candidates start their debates, we may begin to have some idea as to who will win. At that point investors should start paying attention, but the 2016 election should have given us a lesson. Hardly anyone expected Donald Trump to win. I believe the big impact on equity markets will come primarily from the Federal Reserve, not the presidency. I am not suggesting the oval office is not critical. What I am saying is that fed policy matters more.

Frozen in the North said...

Guys guys guys. The market don't know anything...they know one thing, that thanks to government spending cash has only one place to go, and its the market. The day the tap are shut is the day the markets tank. NASDAQ is trading at a P/e of 152 for God's sake.

No one knows how the economic landscape will change once the confinement is over (assuming that its this year), BTW Florida just closed all its Bars, should make for a fun convention!

Markets dropped 7% on NO NEWS!

Anonymous said...

I think market expectations for tax policy will matter, like it seems they did with Trump. But yes, don't fight the FED. They are doing things I would not have expected like buying Corporate Bond ETF's and Bonds directly from companies.

Seems if things got extremely bad they might even buy stocks.... I never would have thought that but they mean what they say and they've said really anything is on the table depending on circumstance. Yellen, Powell mentioned before if anything they were watching for a corporate debt bubble, and have followed through with removing that worry from the markets.

It would be interesting to see some charts showing how material these new assets, Bond ETF's, Corporate bonds are to the FED balance sheet.

Johnny Bee Dawg said...

I know this wont be popular here amongst the "Fake Juice", "Fed Sugar High" crowd, but Retail sales just had the biggest jump in US history, up 17.7%. After employment just had the biggest surge in job additions.

CNBC experts & anchors keep telling us there is a huge "disconnect" between this "insane" market and reality.
Mohammed El-mer Fudd calls it a "Zombie Market" in a new article.

But only 29% of stocks are trading above their 200 day Moving Average.
But Cash on the sidelines is at an all time high.
And the economy is just starting to actually open back up.
And the VIX is elevated with lots of room to fall.
And media portrays yesterday's lowest daily COVID death count since March as "worrisome".

Meanwhile, High Beta is overtaking Low Vol (SPHB > SPLV)
And Pure Value is rapidly catching up to Pure Growth (RPV > RPG)
And just like every recovery, small caps have started spanking everything (IJR)

The declines in the "recovery" sectors (airlines, energy, cruise lines, banks, restaurants, casinos) have become less furious, while their increases are becoming more sustained.

Record cash means every dip is short lived, and is opportunistic for those looking to profit.
Green shoots.

And FWIW, there was a surge in 300,000 new job gains for Blacks. Job opportunities have attracted thousands of blacks back to the labor pool, who had formerly stopped looking for work. Black unemployment rate rose from Blacks reentering the labor pool. Racist America is hiring again.

Iris said...

Deaths lag cases by a weeks to over a month. The lag can be even longer, if we wait for transmission from younger people to their older relatives who are more likely to die. In agreement, since you posted, many states have seen an uptick in deaths:
Sadly, the idea that the virus has gotten less lethal is a comforting fantasy..just keep watching these numbers.
I know two people who got this disease, were sick for weeks, and both are afraid that they will have lifelong lung damage. This infection is not just measured in cases and deaths, but also by its debilitating, long-lasting effects on the one-fifth of positive people who have a severe case.
One-fifth of 300 million is a lot of people.


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