COVID-19

CBO says COVID-19 recovery for the U.S. economy will take about 10 years

Nova Safo Jun 2, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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Until there’s a coronavirus vaccine, some amount of social distancing will likely be with us for the foreseeable future, and that will slow the recovery. Ethan Miller/Getty Images
COVID-19

CBO says COVID-19 recovery for the U.S. economy will take about 10 years

Nova Safo Jun 2, 2020
Until there’s a coronavirus vaccine, some amount of social distancing will likely be with us for the foreseeable future, and that will slow the recovery. Ethan Miller/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The Congressional Budget Office is out with some grim projections, saying the U.S. economy won’t recover from the coronavirus pandemic until 2029 — and the recovery won’t begin until next year.

The CBO projects the COVID-19 pandemic will cost the U.S. almost $8 trillion in lost economic output this decade, down 3% from pre-pandemic projections.

The agency says that consumer spending will decline amid high unemployment, and while many out-of-work Americans will get back to work starting this summer as states reopen, the CBO expects it will take a decade for employment to return to pre-pandemic levels.

The agency says until there’s a coronavirus vaccine, some amount of social distancing will likely be with us for the foreseeable future, and that will slow the recovery.

The projections incorporate the more than $2 trillion in financial assistance the federal government has doled out.

The CBO says a lot of uncertainty remains about the pandemic’s effect on the economy, as well as the effect of the financial rescue program. Its projections are likely to change, as those are better understood.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Are states ready to roll out COVID-19 vaccines?

Claire Hannan, executive director of the nonprofit Association of Immunization Managers, which represents state health officials, said states have been making good progress in their preparations. And we could have several vaccines pretty soon. But states still need more funding, she said. Hannan doesn’t think a lack of additional funding would hold up distribution initially, but it could cause problems down the road. “It’s really worrisome that Congress may not pass funding or that there’s information circulating saying that states don’t need additional funding,” she said.

How is the service industry dealing with the return of coronavirus restrictions?

Without another round of something like the Paycheck Protection Program, which kept a lot of businesses afloat during the pandemic’s early stages, the outlook is bleak for places like restaurants. Some in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, only got one week of indoor dining back before cases rose and restrictions went back into effect. Restaurant owners are revamping their business models in an effort to survive while waiting to see if they’ll be able to get more aid.

How are hospitals handling the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases?

As the pandemic surges and more medical professionals themselves are coming down with COVID, nearly 1 in 5 hospitals in the country report having a critical shortage of staff, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. One of the knock-on effects of staff shortages is that people who have other medical needs are being asked to wait.

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