The Commerce Department is set to release its report on first-quarter GDP and by all accounts, it looks bleak. According to experts, this will be the largest quarterly economic contraction since early 2009, while we were in the midst of a recession. S&P Global’s chief U.S. economist Beth Ann Bovino is estimating the GDP dropped at a 7.5% annual rate in the first quarter while other economists surveyed are estimating the drop in GDP closer to a seasonally adjusted rate of 3.5% in the first quarter. This contraction will mark the first in nearly six years and the steepest since the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Economists are expecting the second quarter to be even worse. Unemployment has soared over 20% with more than 30 million Americans who have filed for unemployment benefits. However, a monthly survey of economists by the Wall Street Journal found that nearly 85% of respondents believe the economy will start to recover in the second half of the year, assuming the health threat subsides, and businesses reopen.


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