Brace for recession. Question is, how bad will things get?
Congress mulls massive coronavirus bailout Earlier this month, most economists still thought the coronavirus would merely graze the U.S. economy, which otherwise remained healthy. No longer. With breathtaking speed, the pandemic has inflicted a grievous wound on consumers, workers, businesses and investors, throwing the country into reverse. “The U.S. economy is in a recession,” Oxford Economics declared bluntly on Tuesday. The question now: How deep will the downturn be — and how long will it last? The biggest economic shock has been the plunge in consumer spending, which drives roughly two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. More than $4 of every $10 in consumer spending is used in “social situations” like restaurants, theaters and the like, according to Oxford Economics. That money is now drying up as Americans hole up to avoid the virus.On top of that, industries linked to travel — airlines, hotels, restaurants, cruise ships — are hurting as countries impose travel bans and consumers stay home. An empty Apple store in New York City on March 16, 2020, following the outbreak of coronavirus disease. Reuters While the cause of the recession is known, what’s unclear is how severe the slump is likely to be. That’s because it is unlike