The K-Shaped Recovery. A “V” For Some, Not For Most.

Posted by Lance Roberts

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Economists have come up with every variation of applying a letter of the alphabet to the economic recovery. Whether it’s an “L,” a “W” or a “V,” there is a letter that suits your view. But what is a “K”-shaped recovery?

Take a closer look at the letter “K.” It’s a “V” on the top, and an inverted “V” on the bottom.

According to Investopedia:

“A K-shaped recovery occurs when, following a recession, different parts of the economy recover at different rates, times, or magnitudes. This is in contrast to an even, uniform recovery across sectors, industries, or groups of people. A K-shaped recovery leads to changes in the structure of the economy or the broader society as economic outcomes and relations are fundamentally changed before and after the recession.

Creative Destruction

Following the economic shutdown, much of the data shows strong signs of improvement. However, several different economic phenomena are driving a K-shaped recovery.

One of the more interesting aspects of the recovery has been that of “creative destruction:”

“Creative destruction is a concept in economics which since the 1950s has become most readily identified with economist Joseph Schumpeter. Schumpeter derived it from the work of Karl Marx and popularized it as a theory of economic innovation and the business cycle.

According to Schumpeter, the ‘gale of creative destruction’ describes the ‘process of industrial mutation. The process continuously revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one’” – Wikipedia

Industries like technology, retail, and software services are leading the way in “creative destruction.” Technology companies like Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc., and Microsoft Corp. saw earnings expand during the economic recession. General merchandise retailers such as Target, Walmart, and Costco, along with online video entertainment giants Netflix Inc., Walt Disney Co., and YouTube, made sizeable gains as the economy closed. Biotech, Pharmaceuticals, and, of course, “Work From Home” firms like Slack and Zoom blossomed with online retailers like Amazon and Shopify.

However, while the “fire of necessity” gave birth to a host of new companies, simultaneously others got lost. Travel, airlines, cruises, movie theaters, traditional retailers, and real estate remain under significant financial pressures. CLICK for complete article