Fiscal drag, viral carousel, and another stalled week in U.S. recovery

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. hiring last week remained sluggish, retail foot traffic dipped, and a surge in coronavirus cases across the Upper Midwest even dented what had been a carefree rush back to restaurants.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. National Guard members standby outside the Wisconsin State Fair exposition center where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had previously built a field hospital which will be activated to treat COVID-19 patients after the state saw a surge in cases, in West Allis, Wisconsin, U.S., October 7, 2020. REUTERS/Alex Wroblewski

The outbreaks in states like South Dakota, Montana and Wisconsin are the latest in the country’s carousel battle with the pandemic as hotspots rotate from one region to another, preventing any broad recovery of confidence or the economy.

Since an early summer jump in U.S. economic activity, data across a broad set of high-frequency indicators has shown little evidence of the sort of

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