We continue to follow business mileage trends closely in our latest bi-weekly Mileage Trends Flash Report. This week looks back to the July 4th holiday. Over the past two weeks, business activity has continued to fluctuate, as is consistent with various states reopening and closing in response to the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in some regions.
Despite business mileage activity having slowed in recent weeks (in part due to the Independence Day holiday), mileage continues to edge upward. This shows continued economic growth and recovery despite some regions closing up again. In fact, since the low point on April 5th, business driving activity has increased to 61% of pre-pandemic levels nationwide, although activity is showing signs of a slowdown.
Additional findings from the report include:
- Business activity continues to vary regionally. The Southern and Western U.S. have recovered the highest level of pre-pandemic mileage (63%). However, mileage in the South has plateaued over recent weeks while it’s declined 3% in the West. As for the Midwest, the region has recovered 61% of pre-pandemic levels and business driving activity continues trending upward every week. This includes a 5% increase over recent weeks. The Northeastern U.S. is at 54% of pre-pandemic levels, and has been increasing steadily an 11% gain over recent weeks.
- Taking an industry view, activity has increased across most sectors. Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen notable gains across all sectors, excluding the Manufacturing industry, which has seen notable declines.
- Food & Beverage (76% of pre-pandemic levels)
- Construction & Building Materials (75%)
- Machinery (63%)
- Hospitals & healthcare (59%)
- Business Services (56%)
- Retail (54%)
- Pharmaceutical/Biotech & Medical Devices (50%)
- Manufacturing (42%)
- Energy & Environmental (41%)
- Automotive (39%)
- Within these industries, the report also examines telling trends playing out in subsectors of Food & Beverage, Biotech & Medical Devices, Hospitals & Healthcare, Machinery, Construction & Building Materials and Retail. For example:
- Some companies in the Biotech & Medical Devices space are showing a more rapid increase in activity than the larger industry sector. Companies that provide respiratory equipment, lab tests, face shields and other personal protective equipment have business mileage trending at 72% of pre-pandemic levels.
- As for Construction & Building Materials, companies that specialize in equipment or distribution for engineering and homebuilding are actually faring slightly better than they did pre-pandemic. Activity is now at 101% of pre-pandemic levels. This could be attributed to higher activity levels over the summer season.
Business leaders continue searching for a balanced approach to bringing driving activity back to pre-COVID levels while avoiding unnecessary risk for their employees. We hope these flash reports provide useful benchmarks of field activity and business trend indicators. We plan to help them adapt to the evolving commercial landscape by providing the latest information through our preparation and release of these bi-weekly reports.
For businesses that would like further guidance or to talk through what this data means for you, we’re here to help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!