As the White House has continued to push a narrative of a sharp recovery after a history-making recession, the financial knowledge in massive half has not been cooperating.
Jobs numbers of late are showing progress however pointing to at greatest a gradual recovery. The sharp uptick in coronavirus circumstances appears to be have ebbed however not by sufficient to generate confidence to get actions wherever near regular once more.
And maybe most significantly, a persistent inability of Congress and the White House to agree on extra rescue funding threatens to push these nonetheless reeling from virus-related impacts additional down the ladder.
“Dreams of a V-shaped recovery are long gone,” Beth Ann Bovino, U.S. chief economist at S&P Global, stated in a notice. “The economic cycle feels more like we are riding a wave fueled by COVID-19 with only quarantines, federal stimulus, and advances from the medical community keeping our personal health and economic recovery afloat.”
Bovino estimated a 30%-35% likelihood of a “wipeout” that might see “this fragile recovery falling back into recession.”
That runs counter to the message from President Donald Trump’s financial crew.
National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow has touted the potential of a V-shaped recovery no fewer than 4 instances over the previous month, both on CNBC or elsewhere. As lately as final week, he informed CNN the “V-shaped recovery is in place.”
Economists typically do see a sharp snapback in exercise for the third quarter after Q2’s stunning 32.9% drop in GDP as measured if the present tempo saved up for 4 quarters.
Still, the skill to maintain up a acquire that might exceed 20% for the July by way of September interval is being referred to as into query.
Some indicators of hope
“With virus fears on the rise, jobs being lost and incomes squeezed, the second phase of the recovery will be more challenging,” wrote James Knightley, chief worldwide economist at ING. “In the absence of a timely and substantial fiscal package we should be braced for the threat of weaker employment and spending numbers, which will provide a major test for financial market optimism on the ‘V’ shaped recovery.”
To ensure, some of the high-frequency knowledge has been wanting higher.
Jefferies tracks a selection of these markers, reminiscent of retail foot visitors, public transportation use and worker hours at small companies, and located that exercise has resumed to 60.5% of the regular tempo as measured by 2019 knowledge factors, which is the highest stage of the pandemic recovery.
Markets additionally continue to look through the present circumstances and are pricing in a return to energy in the U.S. economic system.
“The resurgence in COVID-19 infections and the upturn in unemployment claims raises the question of our call for a V-shaped economic recovery. While the deterioration in progress against the pandemic is saddening, we remain convinced the recovery will not be materially altered,” wrote Lisa Shalett, chief funding officer at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.
“We never thought the V-shaped recovery would be characterized by straight lines and a lack of hiccups given the vast unknowns and forecasting complexity surrounding the virus. Rather, our outlook is based simply on the realities of math and the direction of travel,” Shalett stated.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell final week stated the recovery is largely depending on the virus.
However, economists additionally suppose that the political calculus and the way that interprets into extra rescue funding additionally will likely be vital.
“Given our crazy politics, which are particularly crazy given the election, there is a nonzero probability they fall short,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, stated concerning the aid negotiations. “Depending on how short will determine whether the economy will gain some traction or slide into a depression.”