by Wolf Richter
People and businesses have changed how they do things. And it shows up in the GPS data.
One of the high-frequency data sets that came out of the Pandemic, and that we have been following to track the progress of the US economy, is an index by the American Enterprise Institute that tracks, based on cellphone GPS data, the number of people visiting “places of commerce” in the current week compared to the number of visits in the pre-Pandemic week ended January 15, 2020.
These “places of commerce” include offices, stores, malls, restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, airports, hospitals, other places of commerce and other points of interest in the 40 largest metro areas. The “Foot Traffic Index” measures how many people arrived at these locations, regardless of how they got there – by car, on foot, or by whatever other means.