Boston Fed: Pandemic Led People To Spend More Time With Pets

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The pandemic has churned through the economy in plenty of unexpected ways and the reopening will also likely be jarring this year.

Used car prices are up 10 percent. Home prices skyrocketed. Softwood lumber prices are up 73 percent.

And people are spending more time with pets and acquiring new ones. That’s been good for veterinarians last year.

But what happens when social distancing and isolation ends?

In the latest Beige Book, the Federal Reserve’s periodic compiling of anecdotes about the economy, the Boston Fed points out that despite general optimism about 2021, at least one contact “expressed concern that some of the demand increases they had experienced in 2020 would recede along with the pandemic.”

“For example, a veterinary care products maker said that COVID-19 had led people to spend more time with pets and to adopt new ones, a pattern that could reserve in the coming months,” the Boston Fed said.

Investors also seem to share this fear. Shares of Chewy, the online pet supply store, traded at around $30 a share as 2020 began. By February of this year, they had risen to $118 a share. Share prices have since declined and were off by nearly 10 percent on Wednesday.

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