Business_news The government’s official scorekeeper just poured cold water all over the Trump administration’s predictions of a rapid economic recovery from the coronavirus


  • A new CBO reportsaid the economy would shrink by 7% in GDP and that unemployment would surge to 10% in the second Quarter, a level unseen since the Great Recession.
  • Lingering effects of the crisis could stretch into the end of 2021, as unemployment could still be as high as 9%.
  • The analysis is at odds with President Trump’s optimistic assessment of the economic crisis, as the CBO is not expecting a quick rebound this year and instead projecting the pain will stretch on for a long time.
  • “I don’t think it’s going to end up being such a rough patch,” Trump said ata White House press conferencelast week.
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The Congressional Budget Office said in a reportreleased on Thursdaythat it expected the economy to shrink substantially this year, followed by a surge in unemployment to a level unseen since the Great Recession, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The nonpartisan agency projected that gross domestic product would fall by 7% in the second Quarter, with a drop in the annualized rate of at least 28%.

The CBO expected unemployment to spike to 10% in the second Quarter. And it said lingering effects of the massive job losses and business closures from the pandemic could lead to an unemployment rate of 9% at the end of 2021.

Still, the CBO emphasized that its projections were preliminary and could change given the fast-evolving nature of the public-health crisis.

“Social-distancing measures could be in place for a shorter, longer, or much longer time … with major consequences for the economy and the nation,” the agency said.

Read more:RBC polled 185 investors during the worst first quarter in stock-market history. They revealed what they’re buying and selling as the coronavirus crisis persists.

For now though, the CBO isn’t expecting a sharp rebound of the American economy. The forecast sharply collides with President Donald Trump’s optimistic assessment of a robust recovery once the pandemic subsides.

“I don’t think it’s going to end up being such a rough patch,” Trump said ata White House press conferencelast week. He said the economy would “open up like a rocket ship.”

Economists say the unprecedented economic shutdowncould inflict more damagethan the recession over a decade ago, given mass business closures to curb the spread of the coronavirus around the country. At that period’s worst,unemployment surged to10% during October 2008. 

The new CBO report came shortly afterthe Labor Department released datathat showed 6.6 million people filed for unemployment in the week ending March 28, setting a record for the second week in a row. About 3.3 million people filed for unemployment the previous week, shattering a record set in an economic downturn early in the Reagan presidency.

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released data showingthe economy shed 701,000 jobs in March. The unemployment rate spiked to 4.4% from 3.5% in February, a historic low.

Still,some prominent economistslike Nobel laureate Paul Krugman say unemployment could reach 20% by the end of April.

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