Government data on the economy lags by a month to a quarter — sometimes a year. Decision makers need to know where the consumer economy is going (not just where it has been). Here are the February 2020 Recommendations.
We've got to #StayHome and social distance until we are below 1 in 1,000 active infections. If we don't we are increasing risk of spread and thereby contributing to the loss of lives and livelihoods. To quote a Republican leader, Senator Lindsay Graham, "Try running an economy with major hospitals overflowing, doctors and nurses forced to stop treating some because they can’t help all, and every moment of gut-wrenching medical chaos being played out in our living rooms, on TV, on social media, and shown all around the world."
When a country can't trace how someone got the virus, and it spreads so fast it becomes one of the top killers in a matter of weeks, the only option is to go medieval on the virus and shut things down and get below 20% per week growth rate. We have amazing technology. Let's use it as we emerge from lock-down to ensure we keep the virus at bay! Increase testing. Use your smartphone to opt into privacy secure tracing. Wear a mask. Avoid keep social distancing if you can. Help contain it by staying home if tracing shows you might have been exposed.
In January and February, the virus moved faster than we did. We lost our inability to test, trace and contain the virus. To regain the upper-hand required an unprecedented global behavior change that wrecked the economy. Tens of millions are out of work, and many service jobs will not come back for years. We need a Coronavirus GI Bill. Let anyone unemployed get on-line education or training for the jobs of the future. Pay people to upgrade their skill sets. If you can, take a family in need under your wing. Support your local food bank.
Governments and Businesses have never seen this dramatic of a change in consumer behaviors. Government data lags by weeks, sometimes months making it difficult to make sound business decisions. This paralyzes businesses, and slows economic recovery. My friends in Market Research are in a unique position to help. Join me in working with ESOMAR, The ARF and leading research firms to pool our survey and sales data to make consensus sector forecasts for where consumer spending is heading. It will help businesses and policy makers to make better decisions faster.