It seems increasingly unlikely that the leaders of the US Congress will reach an agreement on another epidemic relief plan, and another important round of unemployment benefits will expire in the next few weeks.
Economists of various political factions have been warning that sustained economic growth depends on the control of the new crown epidemic. Now, facing the increase in cases, many people feel more worried.
Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist at S&P Global Ratings, said: “To put it lightly, this is worrying.” She said: “If this situation spreads, the government is forced to re-impose lockdown measures. The current very fragile recovery will definitely fail.”
Earlier this year, S&P Global Ratings forecasted several scenarios for economic recovery. The baseline forecast is that GDP will fall by 4%-assuming that Congress passes a limited $500 billion rescue bill and the surge in new crown cases in the winter is under control. But the fact is that there is no epidemic relief plan, and cases are increasing rapidly.
It is likely that there will be a more substantial economic contraction, with a drop of 5.1%. Bovino said: “It will not be as big as we experienced in the first half of this year, but it will hit the bottom twice.”
The surge in new crown cases will affect two important aspects of the economy: business operations and consumer confidence.