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IMPLAN Blog

Modeling the Impact of the Coronavirus with Evolving Economy Data

September 28, 2020 by Joe Demski

The coronavirus epidemic has reset the way we understand and examine the economy. With major changes to employment levels and household spending, plus stimulus checks, increased unemployment benefits, and PPP loans, it is crucial that economic data is updated during this time. With that in mind, IMPLAN is proud to announce the release of ground-breaking data and economic impact models for the COVID-19 era: Evolving Economy - COVID Q2-2020.

How Does the Evolving Economy - COVID 2020-Q2 Data Set Differ from IMPLAN’s Annual Data?

The Evolving Economy data set has the same data points and capabilities as regular annual IMPLAN data. The biggest difference is the COVID 2020-Q2 data is an annualized dataset based on a quarter of the year. IMPLAN has used the best publicly available data from the second quarter of 2020 to produce an IMPLAN data set (U.S., state, county, congressional district, and zip code models) meant to represent the pandemic-altered 2020 U.S. economy. Our Data Team annualized and seasonally adjusted the data set based on the second quarter of 2020, so the entirety of the data examines how the whole year would look based on the start of the pandemic. For some Industries, there are very high losses evident from anecdotal evidence as well as in the COVID 2020-Q2 Data.

In order to produce this dataset, the compilation process was slightly altered because many of our usual sources will not have 2020 data available until the end of 2021. Our Data Team relied on a smaller set of source data points from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) & Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) to generate the latest regular annual IMPLAN data to 2020. By virtue of using these data, the COVID 2020-Q2 Data will involve significant differences from the 2018 data (IMPLAN’s most recent full data year).

What Pandemic Related Events are Represented in the Data?

A flurry of changes in economic behavior and government intervention all resulted from the emergence of the coronavirus. Events captured in this data include:

  • Stimulus Checks & Unemployment Benefits - Households received stimulus checks and unemployment benefits were boosted. These atypical sources of income, coupled with the real-world events that predicated them, resulted in average spending changes. The types of spending and levels of saving is reflected in the Household Social Accounting Matrix (SAM).
  • Shifts in Household Spending Behavior - The changes in the relative amounts that households spent among various commodities as a result of the pandemic (e.g., more spending on cleaning products) are also reflected in the Household SAM.
  • PPP Loans - Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans were treated as industry subsidies and are reflected in that manner within the tax data. These loans result in reductions in Taxes on Production and Imports (TOPI) and increases in Other Property Income (OPI).
  • Industry Losses - Regional shutdowns, minimized workforces, decreased intermediate expenditures and international exports, and business model adjustments affected some industries and regions more adversely than others. Major losses in industries like food service, air travel, and more are verified by the data set.

Insight on the COVID Economy is Available Now

Any analyses you normally run with IMPLAN can be performed with the Evolving Economy - COVID Q2-2020 data set. However, setting up your study and interpreting your results require some additional considerations. Whether just perusing the underlying data to see how coronavirus affected employment in your region or analyzing what industries represent the best opportunities for growth in recovery, the updated data set offers users the ability to gain economic insights.

To allow users to better understand the economy as it has been affected by the pandemic, the Evolving Economy data is available right now in IMPLAN and is included with all subscriptions. Economic research interest has skyrocketed following the initial changes brought about by the pandemic, and researchers can now examine the data and conduct economic impact analyses with data reflecting these economic changes in the IMPLAN application.

Interested in what insight you can gain from the Evolving Economy - COVID Q2-2020 Data? Register for our upcoming webinar on the topic below.

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Topics: Data, Economics, Technology, Methodology, Impact, Economic Development, Coronavirus, Disruption

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