March 13, 2020: The novel coronavirus COVID-19 is declared a national emergency in the U.S.
In the weeks that followed, schools and businesses closed across the country as one state after another issued stay-at-home policies to curb the spread of the virus.
It has been a rough year since then, full of ups and downs. But now things may be on the final upswing. It won’t be long until we’ll reach 200 million administered vaccine doses, with many of our most vulnerable populations protected.
It’s not the end of the road yet. It will still be at least a few months until we have effective vaccine coverage in the general population, but the end of the road is closer all the time, nearly in view.
Many of the routine activities we once took for granted will come back: shopping, movies, sports, travel. Some of the changes we have gone through in the last year may stick around: perhaps people will be more inclined to get takeout than sit in a restaurant, and maybe folks will consider the occasional mask during flu season. But people will likely have fresh goals and new energy.
With this, we can expect a flurry of economic activity as people go out and do all the things they have been holding off on. After the shutdown started, many households responded by saving money and paying down lines of credit—we have not been spending the way we used to. Soon that is likely to change, and there is plenty of pent-up demand waiting to be fulfilled.
We have written before about the Roaring Twenties that followed on the heels of the deadly 1918 influenza pandemic: if things line up, we may be poised for this century’s own version of the Roaring Twenties.
There are no guarantees, of course. Even if we do see a massive rebound in spending, the market has a lot of expectations built into it. It is possible that the market has already priced in a robust recovery following the pandemic, leaving little potential for further gains.
Still, we have reason to be optimistic. Markets aside, we all have a lot to look forward to in our personal lives. Time with friends and relatives, at favorite restaurants and vacation spots. Many of us have suffered, and not everything we lost will come back.
But as the old song goes, the sun will come out—tomorrow.
If you would like to talk about your post-pandemic plans and planning, please call or email us.
The economic forecasts set forth in this material may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
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