States that lifted business restrictions early during the COVID-19 pandemic benefited from a boost in economic activity, but those gains were limited or short-lived, as other states often caught up within a month, according to a study by Moody’s Analytics.
The aggressive states notched a longer-lasting advantage in employment but even in that critical category, the other states have narrowed the gap, the Moody’s analysis shows.
“I don’t see the states, by reopening aggressively, bought themselves that much additional growth,” says Moody’s economist Adam Kamins.
At the same time, the early reopening states didn’t pay a significant price by falling behind the rest of the country after having to reinstate restrictions – such as barring indoor dining or lowering a business’s capacity limits — because of COVID surges.
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