Across the US, states are beginning to loosen restrictions and open their economies back up. Although millions of people lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed the country was spared the worst of it economically. Some had predicted unemployment rates would surpass the levels seen during the Great Depression a century ago. That didn’t happen. At the beginning of October, the jobless rate was hovering just under 8%, down from 14.7% in April.
However, financial experts are now worried the economy will worsen just as the nation prepares for the holiday season. As the government continues to negotiate another bill to help boost growth, Safe Path Advisors and companies like it are trying to help families get their financial ducks in a row.
Opening Back Up
September saw many states loosening their coronavirus restrictions. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) announced the state was open for business with very few restrictions. Bars and nightclubs, which had shut their doors months ago, are now running at full capacity. Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) is allowing bars to open at limited capacity in mid-October. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) permitted indoor dining in the state at a limited capacity at the end of September.
It looks as though the country is finally getting back to normal, and people are finally getting back to work. Unfortunately, the difficulties may not be over.
Double Dip Recession Concerns
According to MarketWatch, financial experts are worried the economy is going to drop into a double-dip recession. Although everything is going really well right now, the stock market is gaining, unemployment is down, and consumer confidence is up, recent events threaten that.
Federal aid expired for the airline industry, recently, and executives cut tens of thousands of jobs. Congress was discussing a targeted bill to stop the layoffs, but negotiations fell apart pretty quickly. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said her caucus would not approve any airline bill that was not part of a larger package. On top of that, flu season is upon us, and health experts are concerned about the dueling viruses putting even more strain on the healthcare system.
All of those issues could lead to decreased consumer spending, which could devastate the economy. Bank of the West Chief Economist Scott Anderson told MarketWatch, “In many ways the consumer is the U.S. economy.”
Financial experts are urging Congress to pass another aid package, but so far, lawmakers have been unable to work out their differences. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell worries the economic recovery we’ve seen thus far will evaporate without the relief. In a speech to the National Association for Business Economics, the chairman said, “Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses.”
President Donald Trump is now floating a $1.8-trillion aid package as a way to bridge the divide between Republicans and Democrats who have been too far apart, but there’s no word on whether lawmakers will work with that number. While the government continues to negotiate, Americans are getting their finances in order.
Preparation Is Key to Financial Stability
There are many things people can’t control economically. For instance, whether the companies they work for lay them off, isn’t up to them. How the stock market reacts to the uncertainty is also beyond their control. Securing their finances is not.
That means creating a healthy emergency fund, saving for retirement, and paying down debt is all controllable. Safe Path Advisors makes that last one easier. Many people are saddled with high-interest debt across multiple credit cards. Consolidating that debt into one easy payment allows them to focus on a single payment.
That also means they could pay it off faster and be on a path to financial security a lot sooner than they could while paying extortionately high interest on multiple credit cards. And, of course, if a double-dip recession does come to pass, they’ll be ready.