A published outlook synthesizing the views of nearly fifty economists, academics, and policy-makers is predicting a decline in the Gross Domestic Product of 5.6 percent between the final quarter of last year and the fourth quarter of 2020.
As projected, that 5.6 percent figure will make for the most severe GDP decline since the year after the end of World War II.
At the same time, the outlook survey indicates that a rebound during the second half of 2021 could see GDP growth of 3.6 percent, with the national economy recovering most of what it has lost due to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent economic shutdown.
The survey, conducted by the Washington-based National Association for Business Economics, also shows an ongoing nervousness as to whether or not the COVID-19 outbreak of earlier this year is truly in decline.
While the Labor Department has just released figures showing the national unemployment rate at 13.3 percent as of last month, respondents to the survey said they thought the jobless rate will ultimately come in at about 10.9 percent by the end of the year.
Some 87 percent of the survey’s respondents, said economist Eugenio Aleman, chairperson of the group’s survey effort, “view a second wave of COVID-19 as the greatest downside risk through 2020.”
Just over half of the respondents, meanwhile, look at a COVID-19 vaccine as what they call an “upside risk for 2020” that will slow the spread of the virus and allow for a “broader reopening of the economy.”
Respondents also predicted that more and more U.S. companies, as a result of the virus outbreak, are going to reduce their dependence on global supply chains.
By Garry Boulard
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