Aug 25, 2020 - Economy

Most economists don't think U.S. GDP will recover from pandemic until 2022

Data: NABE; Chart: Axios Visuals

The National Association for Business Economics sees a grim future for the U.S. and global growth over the next two years, with more than 60% predicting U.S. GDP will remain below its 2019 level until at least 2022.

Why it matters: Initially expected to be a short-term economic stall, consensus is growing among economists that the slowdown triggered by the pandemic is becoming a protracted weight on the economy that will reduce growth and employment for years.

  • Only one respondent among the organization's 235 surveyed members expects GDP will reclaim its pre-COVID-19 level in 2020.

By the numbers: While 41% of panelists expect U.S. jobs growth to return to its February level sometime in 2022, 34% expect that will not occur before 2023, while just 18% anticipate it happening in 2021.

  • The median expectation is that 40% of all business closures as a result of the pandemic will be permanent.

What's next: Most respondents see risks to even this dour outlook as being tilted to the downside, with nearly 80% saying there is at least a one-in-four chance of a double-dip recession.

  • 63% say there's a one-in-three chance.
  • Nearly half (47%) say there's a one-in-two chance of a double-dip recession.

Of note: The historically right-leaning organization favors the Democrat in this year's presidential election on the economy.

  • "A majority of respondents believes that former Vice President Biden would be better at promoting U.S. economic growth than President Trump (62% compared to 25%)."
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