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Four 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.  Note: Apple has discontinued “Apple mobility”, and restaurant traffic is mostly back to normal.

—– Airlines: Transportation Security Administration —–

The TSA is providing daily travel numbers.

This data is as of May 1st.


Click on graph for larger image.

This data shows the 7-day average of daily total traveler throughput from the TSA for 2019 (Light Blue), 2020 (Black), 2021 (Blue) and 2022 (Red).

The dashed line is the percent of 2019 for the seven-day average.

The 7-day average is down 9.7% from the same day in 2019 90.3% of 2019).  (Dashed line) 

Air travel has been moving sideways over the last month, off about 10% from 2019.

—– Movie Tickets: Box Office Mojo —–

This data shows domestic box office for each week and the median for the years 2016 through 2019 (dashed light blue).  
Black is 2020, Blue is 2021 and Red is 2022.  
The data is from BoxOfficeMojo through April 28th.

Note that the data is usually noisy week-to-week and depends on when blockbusters are released.  

Movie ticket sales were at $121 million last week, down about 23% from the median for the week. 

—– Hotel Occupancy: STR —–

This graph shows the seasonal pattern for the hotel occupancy rate using the four-week average.

The red line is for 2022, black is 2020, blue is the median, and dashed light blue is for 2021.

This data is through April 23rd. The occupancy rate was down 4.2% compared to the same week in 2019.

The 4-week average of the occupancy rate is at the median rate for the previous 20 years (Blue).

Notes: Y-axis doesn’t start at zero to better show the seasonal change.

The 4-week average of the occupancy rate will now mostly move sideways seasonally until the summer.

—– 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 graph shows how much MTA traffic has recovered in each borough (Graph starts at first week in January 2020 and 100 = 2019 average).
Manhattan is at about 38% of normal.

This data is through Friday, April 29th.

He notes: “Data updates weekly from the MTA’s public turnstile data, usually on Saturday mornings”.

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