Looking ahead to 2021: how long will it take Maryland's economy to recover?
WBAL TV 11, 12/31/2020
RESI Chief Economist Daraius Irani predicts that 2021 will be a year of recovery for Maryland’s economy. The speed and path of recovery hinges on the distribution of the newly approved COVID-19 vaccine. Irani states that if enough individuals are vaccinated to begin opening up businesses and allowing for travel by summertime of 2021, Maryland’s economy will benefit greatly.
A look back at 2020's Economy
Fox 45 News, 12/31/2020
Fox 45 News interviewed RESI Chief Economist Daraius Irani to get an expert opinion on the economic impact of 2020 and the outlook on 2021. Irani begins by stating that Maryland’s 2020 began with record low unemployment rates, but as COVID-19 spread and businesses closed, many people lost their jobs. By November, Maryland had doubled its unemployment rate with service based industries being hit the hardest. Irani noted that MD’s labor force participation rate had also dropped, and over 100,000 individuals stopped pursuing work. In reference to the stock market’s success during the year despite record high unemployment levels, Irani called 2020’s economy “the tale of two economies.” He explained that, the stock market’s gains are mainly due to “explosive growth” in tech industries that do not reflect the state of other industries. Irani keeps his 2021 outlook brief, predicting that the economy will begin to recover but that a return to normalcy might have to wait until mid-decade.
Plastic Bag Ban Set to Take Effect in Baltimore Soon
Fox 45 News, 1/2/2021
On January 13, Baltimore was set to implement a plastic bag ban across the city, with businesses also required to charge a nickel for each other bag they supply customers. Prior to this start date, RESI Chief Economist Daraius Irani argued that conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic make this an inopportune time to begin the ban. He expressed concern that this would be an additional hardship on businesses, especially those who rely on takeout, and that struggling households may also face problems with the additional cost. (The city has since announced that the plastic bag ban will be delayed until July.)