BofA: Brace For the ‘Deepest Recession on Record,’… NYT: the Global Recession Could Last a Long Time

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Brace for the ‘deepest recession on record,’ says BofA analysts, as jobless claims surge to 6.6 million

BofA economists forecast that the unemployment rate will soon hit 15.6% from 3.5% as of February

There are no parallels for the pandemic fueled slowdown that the U.S. economy is currently contending with, and that is forcing economists like those of Bank of America Global Research to forecast a decidedly grimmer outlook for the American economy than they offered just two weeks ago.

The BofA researchers on Thursday said the coming recession “appears to be deeper and more prolonged than we were led to believe just 14 days ago when we last updated our forecasts, not just in the US but globally as well.”

The April 2 research report, which includes star economist Michelle Meyer, comes as the number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits last week soared by a record 6.6 million, bringing the increase in new jobless claims in the last two weeks of March to 10 million.

Fears are growing that the worldwide economic downturn could be especially deep and lengthy, with recovery limited by continued anxiety.

LONDON — The world is almost certainly ensnared in a devastating recession delivered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, fears are growing that the downturn could be far more punishing and long lasting than initially feared — potentially enduring into next year, and even beyond — as governments intensify restrictions on business to halt the spread of the pandemic, and as fear of the virus reconfigures the very concept of public space, impeding consumer-led economic growth.

The pandemic is above all a public health emergency. So long as human interaction remains dangerous, business cannot responsibly return to normal. And what was normal before may not be anymore. People may be less inclined to jam into crowded restaurants and concert halls even after the virus is contained.

The abrupt halt of commercial activity threatens to impose economic pain so profound and enduring in every region of the world at once that recovery could take years. The losses to companies, many already saturated with debt, risk triggering a financial crisis of cataclysmic proportions.

Stock markets have reflected the economic alarm. The S&P 500 in the United States fell over 4 percent on Wednesday, as investors braced for worse conditions ahead. That followed a brutal March, during which a whipsawing S&P 500 fell 12.5 percent, in its worst month since October 2008.

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