The Indicator from Planet Money - Of Puppies and Profits: The Beigie Awards

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a tough time for everyone, so many people have turned to a familiar source of comfort: pets!

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NPR

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Alexi Horwitz Godsey Smith it is that time of year again. What some would call The Most Wonderful Time of the Year? We are talking about the beige book course the Federal Reserve Bank of the US just dropped its latest Facebook yesterday is broken up into 12 District each one covers different parts of the US. So there's the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta of Minneapolis. St. Louis all over the country and eight times a year The Economist at each of these Regional fed Banks make a bunch of calls to local business owners workers and Industry experts and look at these little anecdotes about how businesses looking how things are going to gather up all the stories and they put them together in a report. All these reports are collected up and become the Beast book Beach Regional Bank have its own report or chapter of the beige book and to honor these economic reporters and storytellers. We created

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An award for the story or Annika that best captures some part of the economy.

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Come to the beija war brought to you by the indicator from Planet Money on your host Alexi horwith Ghazi Stacey Vanek Smith real estate to restaurant reopening we bring you the best of beige.

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Support for the indicator and the following message come from TIAA because your curiosity will never run out. You deserve monthly retirement income that does the same with TIAA your retirement savings will grow no matter what happens in the market guaranteed monthly income for Life. Learn more had tiaa.org never run out annuities issued by teachers insurance and annuity Association of America, New York, New York guarantee subject to its claims paying ability is a page-turner Killer Bee Tree and there were a lot of truly Great Moments in this Facebook.

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The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas told us the story that your housing market is so hot there that people are camping out at Lots just to be the first in line to try to buy them Springsteen tickets. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco reports thrift stores are seeing an increase in sales close to my heart and you could say give us pause gave us pause indeed.

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and the baby goes to

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Federal Reserve Bank of

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Boston

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you can talk him through time be nominated and first win. Oh my goodness. I didn't prepare an acceptance speech at the Boston set. This is quite an honor. The Boston Beef have so many great moments including grooming demand for lab space things to so much money going to virus and vaccine research because so many people are buying iPads computers and cars which have microchips in them these days but none of that was what gave us pause the pastor that really drew our attention and you know to be honest clinched the much-coveted beige award in Boston fed is this when it says a veterinary care products maker said that covid-19 had led people to spend more time with pets in to adopt new ones a pattern that could reverse in the coming months.

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I didn't even know about the baiji. So if this was not pandering it all to the judges, ouch, that that's done a little bit before the pandemic Pet Craze is a total crowd-pleaser, but it's also a serious economic phenomenon amount of money on this year. That is a record and Mary says this wave of pet adoptions and pet purchases really Ripple through the economy in all kinds of ways from veterinary clinics groomers to pet stores in Boston. This is Ian Burnett is the store manager for the fish and Bone a pet store in downtown Boston just about everything you could possibly need for your dog sweaters hats have been super important this year.

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I saw the website. It's their very cute. There's like I saw a cat with a bow tie on really how did he feel about that? Cuz there's been an explosion in the number of first-time pet owners in the store some local shelters. He says are empty because all the dogs have been snapped up when they come in time.

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I'm almost a little overweight.

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We start questioning like what what what do I need actually answers. You don't need all that much stuff. You can definitely make it work for less than $100 but most pain under spend way more than that and the average dog owners spend about $1,200 a year on their pets or Boston Economist. Mary Burke says the pandemic pet business boom is part of the greater story of this Facebook and of the economy as a whole some sectors have performed much better than we expected and there's been all these winners from the pain down neck, but then there's obviously been massive loser. So I think it's just been a story of extremes but you know among the people we talked to we had everything from this is the best quarter. Our firm has ever had to this was, you know, still among the worst quarters, you know, we've ever had. Now that the vaccines are going out and things are starting to reopen across the country a lot of the hardest-hit businesses, like restaurants and hotels feeling a little bit optimistic like things are going to start getting better. But a lot of the businesses that have thrived during the pandemic are

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Worried like when things go back to normal will all the new business we got disappear. But where is his dad is a real question mark are going back to normal. It's not clear that suddenly everything's just going to go back to the way it was and all of the businesses has benefited from the pandemic will suddenly be be left out in the cold. But I think this question of just how many of the changes will be permanent vs. Temporary is a key question for the economy as a whole is everyone wants to know what the new normal is going to look like when we go back to offices, but we start dressing in suits again, we can go out to eat like we used to or we going to keep cooking our meal to help will big business convention still happen or are we stuck in a kind of Zoom Purgatory forever does not think the boom will go bust very fast. I mean after all if you got to pee during the pandemic you will still have a dog to take care of when things get back to normal and that dog will need vet visit streets food wishes to sell bowties. And of course when people go back to the office that could create a

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business boom to for Doggie Daycares, but that is not happening at the household of Mary Burke who oversees the baby book at the Boston said

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asked me last night. He said why can't we have a pet? He's not like constantly bugging me about pets. But every once in awhile, he keeps asking me again why we can't have a pet. He said he would settle for a hamster. I'm not really big on an ongoing negotiation. What's your counter?

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Bleak but but also true taking care of it and what was its name?

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I got super sentimental About Pets, I guess rest in. Peace.

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Today's episode was produced by Alexi Horwath Ghazi and Brittany Cronin. It was fact-checked by Samsung and edited by Jolie Myers. The indicator is a production of NPR. Thank you so much, sweetie words, and we look forward to seeing you next month.
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