Many businesses — including local toy stores and specialty retailers — have begun phased reopening across the country, but much uncertainty looms.
Not factoring in the new wave of disruption from the current state of civil unrest being displayed across the country, the National Retail Federation (NRF) says its too soon to start guessing how the U.S. economy will recover.
“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,” says NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz in the organization’s June Monthy Economic Review. “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 precise solutions for what we are going through.”
NRF notes that the U.S. economy “changed course almost overnight from the longest expansion on record to a historic economic slump” due to the spread of COVID-19.
Recent weeks have presented mixed signals with overall retail numbers hitting record lows despite major gains for the biggest players in the game. Additionally, the U.S. toy industry is experiencing growth in certain categories despite many stores being closed due to the pandemic and product availability being a mixed bag based on region and other variables.