Digital Revolution Brief

TRACKING THE RECESSION IN REAL-TIME

After past recessions, it took months—if not years—for economists to gather the data necessary to understand the depth and magnitude of the economic contraction. Even with the lag, most traditional economic surveys conducted by the government (i.e. GDP, Consumer Spending) lacked the necessary granularity to understand the people, businesses, and cities most impacted by the recession.

In the era of big data, economists are turning to the private sector for help. Opportunity Insights, a nonpartisan research and policy institute, recently partnered with a number of leading private companies (credit card processors, payroll firms) to create a real-time Economic Tracker. Anonymized data is aggregated to create timely estimates for employment rates, consumer spending, and job postings. The size of the data set allows for comparison of trends by location, industry, or income group.

Harvard professor Raj Chetty and his team used this new data set to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on spending and employment.

Click here to read Allegiant's Digital Revolution Brief by Senior Research Analyst Will Geisdorf, CMT, which examines a few of the high-level takeaways.

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