US job losses are colossal, but push to come back goes on
The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Friday related to national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.
Restaurants: Restaurants are reviewing every segment of their operations in the pandemic, as dining rooms reopen in some regions. The index that follows restaurants and hotels has plunged 27% in the past three months, among the worst in the S&P 500.
– Same store sales at company-owned Ruth’s Chris Steak House locations plunged 83.5% in April, and that was for restaurants still open for take-out and delivery.
All dining rooms at company-owned restaurants are closed, Ruth’s Hospitality Group said Friday. and delivery and 31 are closed.
The company withdrew financial guidance for the year, suspended its quarterly dividend and share repurchases, and suspended all restaurant construction and non-essential capital expenditures.
Travel: In some regions, airlines ravaged by a near standstill in travel are testing vastly diminished schedules. There are also some signs of a return for cruise lines as well, from which many first recognized the severity of the outbreak as isolated passengers did interviews from their cabins.
– Lufthansa’s airlines will reactivate part of their fleet next month as they begin to ramp up service after the initial peak of the pandemic in Europe.
Lufthansa, its budget subsidiary Eurowings and Switzerland’s Swiss carrier, will put 80 aircraft back into service starting June 1. So far, it has been operating a limited “repatriation flight schedule” designed to be flown by 80 planes.
– Royal Caribbean said Friday that bookings for next year are “within historical ranges” compared with the same period last year, before the pandemic struck. Prices for 2021 cruises are up mid-single digits compared with this year.
The company is seeing increased cancellations for cruise reservations this year.
Central Governments & Banks: Nations struck early by the outbreak, and some U.S. states are reopening their economies, but at a glacial pace and with new, strict guidelines.
– Australia plans to reopen the economy in three stages by July, but there are no plans to open the country to general international travelers in the foreseeable future. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday the states will set their own pace in easing restrictions.
– The northern Italian province of Bolzano is reopening stores this weekend in defiance of Rome’s program, citing a special statute that grants it some autonomy. According to the statute signed Friday, stores may reopen on Saturday, ahead of the official May 18 opening date nationally, followed on Monday by bars, restaurants, hairdressers and museums – which are not slated to open nationwide until June 1.
Markets: Markets are rising Friday as they have all week, despite devastating numbers contained in the monthly U.S. jobs report.