Fannie Mae’s economists provided a mixed forecast this
month. The baseline view of the company’s Economic and Strategic Research (ESR)
group is for the recent virus surge to drag modestly on consumers’ services
consumption in the near term and modestly worsen supply chain disruptions
abroad, but they don’t think it will prevent solid growth in the current quarter.
They do note early signs of modest behavioral changes on the part of consumers
and companies. For example, a high frequency measure of restaurant reservations
has recently pulled back slightly, and several airlines are reporting an uptick
in customer flight cancellations. The most recent measure of the University of
Michigan Consumer Confidence survey also declined dramatically, suggesting the
COVID upswing is weighing on sentiment. Anecdotally, reports of employers
delaying reentry to office work and cancelling in-person events and conferences
are growing.

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