Sign outside Urban Grill and Wine Bar in Foothill Ranch, Calif., expressing economic frustration of many restaurant owners. (Jonathan Lansner/SCNG)
California has 17 metropolitans among 100 regional economies at the greatest risk of severe damage from coronavirus fallout.
Moody’s Analytics looked at medical, demographic and economic stats to see how 403 U.S. metros compare in terms of potential economic sensitivity to what is expected to be a huge national economic slowdown due to business limitations designed to stem the pandemic’s spread.
California had three metros in the Top 10. The metro at most risk was Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina in Hawaii followed by San Francisco, the New York metro area, Miami, Las Vegas, Honolulu, Orlando, San Rafael, Oakland and Philadelphia.
“With a recession now all but inevitable in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, every region in the U.S. will suffer — it is simply a question of degree,” said Adam Kamins, Regional Economist at Moody’s Analytics.
The 403 metros were scored on their links to the disease, from populations at high risk of infection to industries hard hit by business limitations.
Moody’s ranked regional virus exposure (infection rate and foreign travel); metro demographics (density, 65-plus residents and migration); local trade and travel (plane trips and exports); the area’s tourism (jobs and share of gross domestic product); finance (financial employment and investment income); and share of commodities business (mining and energy excavation).
Other California metros in the Top 100 riskiest were San Jose-Santa Clara (15), Orange County (16), Los Angeles (22), El Centro (25), Salinas (28), San Diego (44), Napa (48), Santa Barbara (52), San Luis Obispo (78), Madera (82), Bakersfield (90), Ventura County (94), Sacramento (99) and Visalia-Porterville (100).
California’s lowest-risk economies were Redding at No. 323 of 403; Chico at No. 205 and the Inland Empire at No. 176.
Looking at the categories of concern, by Moody’s math, national leaders were:
Exposure: San Jose-Santa Clara, San Francisco and the New York metro area.
Demographics: Philadelphia, Orange County and the New York metro area.
Trade/travel: Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Longview, Wash. and Laredo, Tex.
Tourism: Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Flagstaff and Las Vegas.
Finance: Bridgeport, Conn., Naples, Fla. and Boston.
Commodities: Midland, Tex., Farmington, N.M. and Enid, Okla.
At the state level, Nevada’s economy was at greatest risk, followed by Hawaii, Washington, Florida, New York, District of Columbia, Louisiana, Texas, Massachusetts and California.
Moody ranks California’s risks as third-highest in exposure, No. 45 in demographics, No. 21 in trade/travel, No. 11 in tourism, No. 12 in finance and No. 22 in commodities.