Apr 23, 2020 - Economy

Imminent GDP numbers will quantify severity of America's economic collapse

An illustration of a bull facing a coronavirus strain.

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. first quarter GDP data comes out on Wednesday. Estimates are all over the map for how the economy held up through the end of March — while most of the quarter was fine, the last couple of weeks were terrible.

Why it matters: The economy is undeniably in a recession, though official data is slow to confirm that. The Q1 figures will begin to quantify the damage.

  • Analysts' forecasts range enormously, between +1.9% annualized growth on the high end and -10% on the low end. The median forecast, per FactSet, is for a 3.5% annualized drop. There hasn't been a decline that steep since 2009.
  • Data for the current quarter will certainly be far uglier. That will be released on July 30.
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