Jul 20, 2021 - Economy

The pandemic recession lasted just two months

NBER; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios

The U.S. economic recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic officially ended in April 2020, the National Bureau of Economic Research said Monday.

Why it matters: That may seem an odd proclamation, since the economy still has a long way to go and unemployment is elevated well above pre-pandemic levels.

  • However, trends continue to improve, and we can now date the favorable turning point.

The big picture: The NBER said the recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic began in February 2020, making this the shortest recession on record.

Flashback: After the U.S. government in March 2020 issued safety guidelines that began the shut down of much of the economy, April brought the largest one-month employment decline in history.

The bottom line: Knowing when the recession ended doesn’t change anything. However, it does help us to better understand how the economy works as we study it in hindsight.

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