April 20, 2020 — Bad News Abounds


Until the economy starts to reopen and eases back into business, the news will be grim.

As several states have extended stay-at-home measures into May to control rising numbers of coronavirus cases as another 5.2 million people filed for unemployment last week, bringing jobless claims over 22 million.  Consumer and manufacturing reports for March showed a harder hit to the economy than expected, with retail sales down 8.7% and industrial production down 5.4%, the largest decline since 1954.

The economic decline began at the end of March, in the first quarter, and is expected to hit bottom in the second quarter with economists expecting a drop of more than 30% in GDP.

For comparison, China released economic numbers last week, reporting their first quarter GDP contracted by 6.8% year over year. This was China’s first decline since at least 1992 when they started tracking GDP.

We must hope people return to work soon, and some of the pent up demand will start a turnaround.