US Economy Shrinks at Sharpest Rate Since Great Depression
The United States economy shrank at a yearly rate of 32.9 percent between April and June of this year. It is the worst quarterly contraction in the economy ever recorded.
The contraction came as the coronavirus pandemic pushed struggling businesses to close for a second time in many parts of the country. The closures have left millions of Americans out of work.
The U.S. Commerce Department released the economic numbers Thursday. Its estimate of the contraction in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the worst since the government began keeping such records in 1947.
The decrease comes after a 5 percent drop in economic activity during the first three months of the year. That is when the economy officially entered a recession, ending 11 years of growth, the longest on record in the country.
The record-setting contraction resulted from a collapse in consumer spending, which makes up about 70 percent of economic activity. Restaurants, stores, and theaters closed, while Americans stopped traveling. People did not spend as much money because there was nowhere to spend it.
The drop in GDP shows the "unprecedented hit to the economy from the pandemic,"said economist Andrew Hunter. He added that "it will take years" for the economy to recover. Hunter works for Capital Economics, an economic research service based in London.
So great was the contraction that many experts expect economic activity to rise sharply during the current quarter. Some predict the economy will grow as much as 17 percent, or higher, between now and the end of September.
Yet with the rate of confirmed coronavirus cases rising in many states, more businesses are being forced to either cancel their reopening, or close down again. In addition, the U.S. Senate is considering a proposal to cut government aid to the unemployed. So, it is possible the economy could get even worse in the months to come.
In addition to consumer spending, business investment dropped 27 percent and housing fell 38.7 percent between April and June.
State and local governments have been hurt by the loss of tax money and job losses. State and local government spending decreased by a yearly rate of 5.6 percent.
But total government spending was up 2.7 percent because of federal efforts to ease the pain of the recession. Federal spending has risen 17.4 percent, mostly for more than $2 trillion in a coronavirus aid plan. Congress sent many Americans $1,200, gave loans to many businesses and increased unemployment aid.
Congressional leaders and the Trump administration are talking about more aid for people and businesses to fight the recession.
In a separate report Thursday, the Labor Department said requests for unemployment aid increased 12,000 to 1.434 million in the week ending July 25. Nearly 30.2 million jobless Americans are receiving unemployment aid.
President Trump has urged states to reopen businesses. But there are worries that the virus remains a threat to workers and consumers at service industry jobs that often require face-to-face contact.
Many economists say the economy cannot fully recover until the coronavirus is defeated. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Wednesday that the virus has been endangering a small economic recovery. For that reason, he said, the U.S. central bank plans to keep interest rates near zero well into the future.
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5.Nearly 30.2 million jobless Americans are receiving unemployment aid.
unemployment aid 失业援助
New claims for unemployment aid fell last week to the lowest number since January.
Both candidates want to temporarily suspend taxes on unemployment aid.
6.In addition, the U.S. Senate is considering a proposal to cut government aid to the unemployed.
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In addition, the respondent disclosed professional confidences to one of the patients.
今年4到6月，美国经济的萎缩速度按年率计算达到了32.9% 。这是美国经济有史以来最严重的季度萎缩 。
这次萎缩正值新冠病毒大流行迫使美国许多地区陷入困境的企业再次关闭之际 。企业关闭导致数百万人失业 。
美国商务部周四公布了这组经济数据 。该部门估计，这次国民生产总值萎缩是美国政府自1947年开始统计以来最糟糕的 。
在此之前，今年第一季度经济活动下降了5% 。此时，美国经济正式进入衰退，结束了该国有记录以来最长的连续11年的增长 。
这次创纪录的萎缩是由于消费者支出锐减造成的，约占经济活动的70% 。餐馆、商店和剧院纷纷停业，同时美国人民停止出行 。人们消费能力下降，因为没有消费的机会 。
经济学家安德鲁·亨特（Andrew Hunter）表示，国民生产总值的下降表明，“疫情让经济在手了前所未有的打击 。”他还表示，经济复苏“需要数年时间” 。亨特就职于凯投宏观，一家伦敦的经济研究服务机构 。
这次萎缩如此严重，以至于很多专家预计本季度的经济活动将会急剧上升 。一些人预测，从现在到9月底，美国经济将增长17%，甚至更高 。
然而，随着许多州新冠病毒确诊病例的上升，越来越多的企业被迫取消重新开业或再次停业 。此外，美国参议院正在审议一项削减政府对失业者援助的提案 。因此，未来几个月经济可能会变得更糟 。
州政府和地方政府遭受了税收和就业岗位减少的打击 。州政府和地方政府的支出按年率下降了5.6% 。
但是，由于联邦政府为缓解经济衰退的痛苦而采取的措施，政府总支出增长了2.7% 。联邦支出增长了17.4%，其中大部分用于逾2万亿美元的新冠病毒援助计划 。国会向许多美国人发放了1200美元的援助，向许多企业提供了贷款，并提高了失业补助 。
在周四的另一份报告中，美国劳工部表示，截至7月25日这周，申请失业救济的人数增加了1.2万人，达到了143.4万人 。约3020万美国失业者正在领取失业补助 。
特朗普总统督促各州重新开放企业 。但是令人担忧的是，该病毒仍然威胁着服务业的员工和消费者的安全，这类行业通常需要近距离接触 。
许多经济学家表示，除非战胜新冠病毒，否则经济无法完全恢复 。美联储主席鲍威尔周三表示，该病毒一直在危及小规模的经济复苏 。他说，鉴于此，美联储计划在未来很长一段时间内将利率维持接近于零的水平 。