The US is already in a recession, dozens of economists say

The US is already in a recession and will stay that way for several more months, according to a survey of 45 economists.

The economists predict a sharp, short recession for the first half of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic “severely restricts economic activity,” according to the survey from the National Association for Business Economics.

Economic growth likely fell at a rate of 2.4% in the first quarter and will decline a staggering 26.5% in the second quarter, the NABE predicted.

The US labor market will also take a major hit as the coronavirus outbreak shutters businesses. The NABE says the unemployment rate is expected to spike to 12% by midyear, while the US may lose 4.58 million jobs in the second quarter.

That job loss will drag on spending, a major driver of the US economy. Consumer spending accounts for roughly 70% of economic growth.

But economists are also optimistic the economy will bounce back: They predict it will be growing at a rate of nearly 6% by the end of the year.

“The median forecast suggests conditions will improve by the end of the year with support from aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus,” said NABE President Constance Hunter.

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