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Economy: Do your part to fight COVID

Cracks are beginning to show in the economic recovery we hoped was under way after encouraging signs this spring and summer. The double whammy of individuals’ failure to do what is necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, and natural disasters such as Hurricane Ida means U.S. industrial production slowed to only a 0.4 percent gain in August.

While the hurricane shut down petroleum refineries and petrochemical plants (and other plants) along the Gulf Coast, the Federal Reserve reported that combined with lost oil production accounted for the loss of 0.3 percentage points from output.

But we’ve got other problems on our hands. Labor shortages continue because of the resurgence of the pandemic both here and in other countries where our major employers have facilities.

“The industrial recovery is losing steam and with the delta variant causing disruption to global supply chains and Hurricane Ida weighing on oil production, a further slowdown looks likely in September,” said Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics.

How do we turn this around before the recovery falters completely? Well, we can’t stop natural disasters, but if you are looking for yet another good reason to get vaccinated, wear your masks, social distance and do everything else in your power to stop a monster that continues to stalk us, here it is.

It is in your power to help our economy, reduce dependence on the federal government, keep our kids learning in classrooms and, oh yeah, keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Hunter says we are already looking at another slowdown in September. What else awaits us, if you don’t do the right thing?

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