Post-traumatic economic stress

Aug 05, 2020 | Jay Zhang


After the shock of a sharp Q2 contraction in U.S. GDP, signs point to a prolonged COVID-19 convalescence for the world’s largest economy. Meanwhile, prospects for other economies appear mixed.


The U.S. economy’s Q2 COVID-19 crash was about as bad as economists had expected—but that doesn’t make it feel any better. GDP plunged 32.9 percent (q/q annualized) based on preliminary data, by far the worst decline since the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) began collecting comparable quarterly data in mid-1947. The previous low was -10 percent in early 1958.

This plunge, combined with the five percent retrenchment in Q1 of this year, wiped out three years of economic growth. The size of the economy is back to what it was in Q2 2017. Now that we know what we already thought we knew about Q2, the bigger questions are: How long will it take to climb out of the pit, and how does the U.S. stack up against other major economies?

Market pulse
3 Little progress in U.S. fiscal policy negotiations
3 Canadian home sales rebound
4 European currencies propelled higher
4 Hong Kong economy continues contraction


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