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Data: New York Fed; Chart: Axios Visuals

The New York Fed's Weekly Economic Index turned lower for the week ending Aug. 1, showing real-time, high-frequency economic data again weakening in the last week of July.

Why it matters: The index turned negative again after an upwardly revised previous week. It supports other recent real-time economic data that show U.S. growth reversing.

What they're saying: "The recent evolution in our coincident employment index suggests that the recent recovery in employment has halted and that the increase in Covid-19 may be the main cause for this," economists at the St. Louis Fed wrote in a blog Tuesday.

  • "Thus, a strong economic recovery may need a healthy recovery from the pandemic."

Where it stands: The weak employment growth, especially in states hard hit by recent virus outbreaks, noted by the St. Louis Fed, pairs with consumer spending data from JPMorgan Chase.

  • Their data show the economic recovery has been stuck in neutral since mid-June, as evidenced by spending patterns from Chase debit and credit cardholders.

Be smart: JPMorgan analysts also pointed to a gap between spending by millennials and Gen Z consumers, which fell 4.1% compared to 2019, and spending by baby boomers, which dropped more than 18%.

  • The data suggest older, wealthier consumers with ample cash are paring back and adding to savings while less wealthy consumers continue to spend at similar levels, thanks largely to government assistance programs.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Nov 6, 2020 - Economy & Business

Republicans' consumer confidence nosedives after Election Day

Data: Morning Consult; Chart: Axios Visuals

Consumer sentiment among Republicans dropped significantly from Election Day to Wednesday, a new daily survey shows, falling by around five times the survey's standard deviation.

What happened: Even with a result not yet called and President Trump (falsely) claiming victory, a daily index of consumer sentiment fell by 7.6 points among Republicans while remaining constant among Democrats.

Unemployment plunges as the pandemic continues

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

Here's the good news for workers: The unemployment rate fell by a full percentage point to 6.9% last month — in the face of rising coronavirus cases, continued pressure on businesses, and no economic relief in sight from the government.

The bad news: That rapid snapback in employment after initial economic lockdowns eased is over. Job growth has slowed every month since June.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.