Apr 16, 2020 - Economy & Business

Americans aren't ready to go back to normal after a coronavirus reopening

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Data: CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

A majority of people say they would resume at least some level of normal activities if the federal government announced a coronavirus reopening, but more than a third say they would remain in quarantine, a survey from CivicScience provided first to Axios shows.

Why it matters: An economic recovery is much more dependent on people's willingness to go out and spend money than it is on whether the government has issued a proclamation.

  • The percentage who say they would restart activities has climbed since last month when 42% of respondents said they would choose to remain in quarantine.
  • Even if orders are given to reopen businesses across the country, the economy will stay mired in recession if a significant number of Americans are still too scared to leave their homes.

Between the lines: The number of respondents who said they would be willing to resume all normal activities increased from 12% in March to 14% in April, but still represents a small minority of people.

Be smart: "In a recent analysis, a group of researchers including Stanford University professor Nick Bloom, creator of an often-cited uncertainty index, projected gross domestic product by the end of this year would still be down 11% from 2019," Reuters notes.

  • "The analysis began with a litany of questions that boiled down to one: When will it be safe to go outside? Uncertainty around that question may account for as much as half of the lost output, they found."

Go deeper: America isn’t prepared to reopen the economy

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