The Pandemic Economy in 7 Numbers

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There are several ways to tell the story of the American economy right now.

Some data portray hope: Spending on consumer goods is higher than it was before the pandemic, and the housing market is booming.

Others paint a more dire picture: The service sector is struggling badly, and the federal aid that initially saved the economy from ruin could soon disappear.

Using seven key numbers, we look at the sectors that have been affected most profoundly and consider what the path to recovery might look like.

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On today’s episode

Ben Casselman, who covers economics and business for The New York Times, walks us through the pandemic’s impact.

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Background reading

Here is Ben’s snapshot of the key data points for understanding the impact of the pandemic on the economy.

The expiration of two critical programs at the end of this year could leave millions of Americans vulnerable and short-circuit the nation’s precarious recovery.

President-elect Joe Biden is facing his first economic test: Does he push congressional Democrats to cut a quick deal on a federal aid package or hold out for a larger one after he takes office?

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Ben Casselman contributed reporting.

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