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100,000 Restaurants Closed Six Months into Pandemic
Six months following the first shutdown of restaurants for the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant industry is in limbo. According to a new survey released by the National Restaurant Association, nearly 1 in 6 restaurants (representing nearly 100,000 restaurants) is closed either permanently or long-term; nearly 3 million employees are still out of work; and the industry is on track to lose $240 billion in sales by the end of the year.
The survey, which asked restaurant operators about the six-month impact of the pandemic on their businesses, found that overwhelmingly, most restaurants are still struggling to survive and don't expect their position to improve over the next six months. The findings include...
Imports Spike as Economy Continues Recovery and Retailers Stock Up for Holidays
Imports surged to unexpected high levels this summer and may have hit a new record as the U.S. economy continues to reopen and retailers stock up for the holiday season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
“It’s important to be careful how much to read into these numbers after all we’ve seen this year, but retailers are importing far more merchandise for the holidays than we expected even a month ago,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Some of these imports are helping replenish inventories that started to run low after...
NRF Chief Economist Says Coronavirus 'Continues As a Shock' for Small Businesses
Data indicating that small business owners are increasingly pessimistic about the coronavirus shows the need for continued economic stimulus measures, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today.
“The coronavirus continues as a shock to America’s small employers,” Kleinhenz said. “Small businesses are the backbone of American ingenuity and impact local economies in cities and towns across the country, but responses to recent surveys highlight the fragility of many small business enterprises and the importance of the need for well-tailored economic policy.”
“Just as a physician checks a patient’s pulse to measure the rhythm and strength of the heartbeat, small business is...
NRF Chief Economist Says Pandemic Recession Could Already be Easing but 'No One Has a Crystal Ball'
The economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has officially been declared a recession, but National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today the key question is how long it will last.
“Will this recession be briefer than earlier recessions?” Kleinhenz said. “No one has a crystal ball. And just as it can take months to be certain a recession has begun, it can take time to declare when one is over.”
“While it would be unusual for a recession to last less than six months, it is possible that the current one could have already ended with May’s rebound,” Kleinhenz said. “The good news is that the recession may have...
Uncertainty Surrounds the Reopening of Businesses
While the reopening of businesses shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic is a significant step forward, the rate at which the economy will recover or consumers will feel comfortable resuming activities such as dining out or shopping remains to be seen.
“Is it possible the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind us? Maybe, but we are not out of the woods yet, and uncertainty abounds,” said National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz.
Kleinhenz added, “Predicting what will happen is even more challenging than usual. While history often helps guide us, previous downturns offer little guidance on what is likely to unfold over the next six to 12 months. There is no user’s manual in which government, businesses or consumers can find...
Mintel: The Current Economic Environment Compared to The Great Recession
Mintel has released new research analyzing the current economic environment compared to that of the Great Recession, including insight on the economic indicators that will play a role in predicting consumer spending in the months and years ahead.
While the economy is in decline today, the factors leading to the last recession, its duration, and lasting impact on consumers are (and will be) very different this time around.
Why this time it’s different
The Great Recession was largely impacted by failures in the housing and banking industries. Today, the crisis is out of human control, and one we can’t yet solve. What’s more, the financial system today is...
NRF Chief Economist: Recovery Likely to Come in 'Fits and Starts'
With some stores starting to reopen as governors lift stay-at-home orders across the country, economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is likely to come gradually and may vary by location, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said.
“Getting back to work or shopping in a pre-virus manner is difficult to predict at this time, with households likely to tiptoe back in rather than making an immediate return to the lives they experienced before,” Kleinhenz said. “As states begin to slowly reopen and assuming the coronavirus does not come back, the economy should begin a process of gradual recovery. My overall impression is that the recovery will have fits and starts among states, regions and cities depending on...
Retail Industry Leaders Inform President Trump’s Advisory Group on Reopening the U.S. Economy
The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay in response to his participation with other retail industry and business leaders on a White House call for the initiation of the Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups.
“Retailers are on the front line and fully engaged in their communities in this war against coronavirus. The health of their associates, customers and communities is their number one priority.
We are grateful to President Trump, Vice President Pence and Secretary Mnuchin for bringing together some of the most successful business leaders in the world to gather their perspective on how...
NRF Chief Economist: Stopping the Pandemic is First Step to Restoring Sound Economy
In the April issue of the National Retail Federation’s Monthly Economic Review, NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz says the coronavirus pandemic “has triggered shocks” – but that the underlying economy is sound.
“How quickly the country gets a handle on containing the virus will determine the degree of the impact on the economy and how soon businesses can reopen,” Kleinhenz wrote in the report. “We expect a severe contraction, and if the nation doesn’t get the virus under control the fallout will be worse.”
Gross domestic product that was growing at a 2.1 percent annual rate at the end of 2019 is “about to go into a mandated nosedive,” according to the report. And retail sales data for March...
Technomic: Potential Economic Shock from Coronavirus Pandemic is Unprecedented
There is wide disagreement about whether COVID-19 will be an economic shock with a sharp recovery or if it will pull the economy into a sluggish recession. The previous worst quarter in U.S. history for GDP was Q2 2009, immediately after the economic crash. That quarter, the GDP dove by 3.9%, a fraction of the projections we are seeing as a result of COVID-19. The economic shock from this event is unprecedented.
Consumer spending on foodservice continues to drop. For the average consumer, Technomic research suggests that spending has declined by an estimated 45% from a typical week in February, with further planned reductions expected to come. Consumer demand is still present in the marketplace, but as the pandemic has heightened and concerns have grown, a new normal is setting in. Shelter-in-place and social distancing actions have resulted in...
Job Report Numbers Show 2020 is Off to a Good Start
Starting the year on a strong note, the US economy added 225,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 3.6 percent. Today's job report provides more evidence of accelerating employment growth, with the last three months averaging 211,000 new jobs. Stronger employment growth may reflect growing confidence of employers, as some of the geopolitical risks -- such as the US-China trade spat -- subsided in recent months.
Amid stagnant growth in the working-age population, strong employment growth will likely further tighten the labor market in 2020. As a result, we can expect increasing challenges around...
Protein Industry Reacts to Latest Coronavirus Aid Package
Study Sheds Light on U.S. Consumer Preferences on Conventional and Alternative Protein Products
100,000 Restaurants Closed Six Months into Pandemic
US Foods Fall Scoop Helps Restaurant Operators Stay On Point With Evolving Off-Premise Trends
China and Japan Suspend Pork Imports from Germany Following African Swine Fever Case
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