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Monday, May 11, 2020

A second wave of US virus cases will plunge economy into depression, Moody's economist warns

Editor's Note: Although the following was released by CNBC and Business Insider as a news release, it contains opinion in its writing. Please continue to employ hand washing and sanitizing, social distancing, and the use of masks which cover both nose and mouth during the absence of a vaccine.

What many view as the cure to the current economic downturn could spur a far worse outcome, Moody's chief economist Mark Zandi warned.

Several states have begun rolling back shutdowns to reinvigorate economies slammed by the coronavirus pandemic. The gradual reopenings are meant to keep businesses afloat and stem additional job loss, but public health experts fear a premature return to norms risks a second wave of infections. Zandi shares the concern, telling CNBC's "Trading Nation" that another outbreak would fuel a much slower recovery.

"We may not shut down again, but certainly it will scare people and spook people and weigh on the economy," he said Friday. "That would be the fodder for a depression."

Recent economic data suggests the US is already on its way to a prolonged slump. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that the unemployment rate spiked to 14.7% from 4.4% in April, with nonfarm payrolls sinking by 20.5 million. US joblessness now sits at its highest since World War II and is nearing peaks not seen since the Great Depression.

Hiring could bounce back starting in late May as businesses resume activity, the economist predicted, but lasting risk will weigh on economic activity for months to come.

Courtesy of CNBC and Business Insider

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