I recently saw on Fox News that Broadway shows are opening back up in New York with 33% capacity restrictions. It also appears that at least two weeks ago Las Vegas shows started reopening with 50% capacity. These are great signs of our lives returning to normal and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I started becoming very optimistic about our future when the Super Bowl was played with 28,000 fans in attendance. And even more optimistic when the NCAA tournament actually started (it was cancelled last year). After all, at this time last year we were all reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 shutdown and left wondering when and where it would all end. Thankfully it appears there is a lot of light at the end of the tunnel. North Dakota and South Dakota appear to be mostly open already and Minnesota has been loosening restrictions gradually. I think we are all ready to say goodbye to COVID-19 restrictions and as the vaccine rollout continues we will see more and more activity as businesses begin to recover and hire employees back to work.
This summer could be very fruitful for everyone as the federal government is literally dumping a trillion dollars into the economy. Additionally, there is a lot of pent up demand for products that have been in short supply. For example, auto dealers are still having issues getting cars for their lots and furniture stores appear to have plenty of space in their showrooms for more furniture. Countless other products are back ordered as the world production cycle begins to churn again.
The laws of supply and demand are always at play so don’t expect prices to go down. One example is when newly elected president, Joe Biden, suspended all gas and oil leases on federal lands. This immediately caused an increase of gas prices as the supply of oil was affected. Currently gas prices in our area according to gasbuddy.com is $2.75 per gallon. This is up from January when it was at $2.40 per gallon, that’s an increase of about 15% and climbing.
Despite this we should all be optimistic about the reopening of our economy as this will lead to better days ahead for all of us.
Ken Harty is the publisher of the Fergus Falls Daily Journal.