U.S. Economy Down 4.8 Percent In Biggest Decline Since Great Recession

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By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News

(Worthy News) – The U.S. economy shrank at 4.8 percent in the first quarter of this year, the most significant decline since the Great Recession of the late 2000s, as the nation shivers of the coronavirus pandemic measures. With much of America in lockdown, figures released by the Commerce Department showed that the United States entered a recession that will end the longest expansion on record.

The Department estimated Wednesday that the gross domestic product, the total output of goods and services, posted a quarterly drop for the first time in six years. And it was the sharpest fall since the economy shrank at an 8.4 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2008 in the depths of the Great Recession.

“Although Americans flooded grocery stores to buy food and supplies, it was not nearly enough to offset lost spending on dining out, car sales, entertainment, and more,” The Washington Post newspaper observed. The Federal Reserve already pumped $2.3 trillion into the U.S. economy, but analysts warned that the worst is yet to come. The second quarter was likely to show a decline of more than 30 percent — a level not seen since the Great Depression of the 1939s, experts said.

Much of the economy went into a government-imposed lockdown as people stayed home to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease COVID-19. “There’s really no question about it. We are in a recession, and it’s going to be a sharp recession,” warned economist Alicia Modestino, associate director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy.

Even the White House reportedly agreed this was the worst decline for the U.S. economy in decades. The question remained how long the pain would linger for the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs and for small-business owners on the verge bankruptcy.

It also comes in a year when U.S. President Donald Trump seeks re-election. He had made a strong economy a vital talking point in his campaign before the virus outbreak.

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