COVID collapse: Economy shrank 33% in spring

The full economic weight of the COVID-19 pandemic was revealed in stunning clarity as the U.S. Commerce department noted the American economy shrank 33% in the first quarter of the year. It was by far the largest quarterly drop in American history.


National News

July 30, 2020 - 10:09 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy shrank at a dizzying 32.9% annual rate in the April-June quarter — by far the worst quarterly plunge ever — when the viral outbreak shut down businesses, throwing tens of millions out of work and sending unemployment surging to 14.7%, the government said today.

The Commerce Department’s estimate of the second-quarter decline in the gross domestic product, the total output of goods and services, marked the sharpest such drop on records dating to 1947. The previous worst quarterly contraction, a 10% drop, occurred in 1958 during the Eisenhower administration.

Last quarter’s drop followed a 5% fall in the January-March quarter, during which the economy officially entered a recession triggered by the virus, ending an 11-year economic expansion, the longest on record in the United States.

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