Article courtesy of TopMark Funding.
TopMark Funding has been writing about COVID-19 for well over three months now, even before the World Health Organization (WHO) officially announced it as a pandemic. As time goes on and the general populace has stayed at home as long as it could to “flatten the curve”, the evidence seems to be piling up that the worst of it is behind the country.
Outbound Truck Volume Index
Back in early March, when the nation was making a run on toilet paper, we wrote about how the increased demand was helping truckers, and we used FreightWave’s Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI) to demonstrate the increase in demand. The number at the time was 10,800, with 10,000 being the baseline for the index. On April 16th, the Index hit a trough of 8,439, about a 22% decrease from that rush.
As of the writing of this article, the OTVI is approximately 11,170. A 3.4% increase over the peak demand when everyone was scrambling for toilet paper.
A conjected reason for this is a pent-up demand for non-essential goods that has built up over the last three months of quarantine. People want to upgrade their television sets or go on vacations and have been all but forced to delay these purchases as in-person shopping became more difficult.
Death Rates Steadily Declining
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) started publishing updates for infection and death counts on March 16th. As of the morning of June 16th, ninety-two days later, the total deaths are stated to be 115,644. This puts the average death count at 1,257 deaths per day. This is quite a large number, but the interesting fact is that for June 15th, only 373 new deaths were added to the total.
The last time it exceeded this average was on May 20th, with 1,265 deaths. The number of deaths per day is not just decreasing, it is dropping like a rock in freefall.
April was the great shedding of jobs: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the country lost over 20.5 million jobs that month. The silver lining is that the employment rate in May was a gain of 2.5 million jobs. While this comeback is small compared to the monumental scope of the job loss in April, it came to a great shock to almost everyone that the country gained, not lost, jobs the month after.
The United States still in a pandemic, as anyone can tell you as you go into a truck stop for a meal or shower. However, the evidence continues to point in the direction of the nation as a whole is healing and that we are on the downward slope of the curve. Simply stay the course, keep the faith, and keep wearing gloves at the diesel pump–this pandemic will all but certainly be over by the end of July, if not the end of June.