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The Daily: How Is the U.S. Economy Doing?

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There are several ways to tell the story of the American economy right now.

Some data portray hope: Spending on consumer goods is higher than it was before the pandemic, and the housing market is booming.

Others paint a more dire picture: The service sector is struggling badly, and the federal aid that initially saved the economy from ruin could soon disappear.

Using seven key numbers, we look at the sectors that have been affected most profoundly and consider what the path to recovery might look like.


Ben Casselman, who covers economics and business for The New York Times, walks us through the pandemic’s impact.

ImageStore fronts in Boston last month. After the shutdowns in spring, some areas have bounced back, but others remain deeply depressed.
Credit…Steven Senne/Associated Press

Ben Casselman contributed reporting.

The Daily is made by Theo Balcomb, Andy Mills, Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Annie Brown, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dorr, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, Kelly Prime, Sindhu Gnanasambandan, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Neena Pathak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Hans Buetow, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Bianca Giaever, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Alix Spiegel, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano and Soraya Shockley. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Mikayla Bouchard, Lauren Jackson, Julia Simon, Mahima Chablani, Nora Keller, Sofia Milan and Desiree Ibekwe.

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