How quickly will the American economy recover after the COVID-19 pandemic is over? That depends on a whole lot of things:
- Will it really be over in a couple of months? Or will small outbreaks keep springing up here and there?
- Will there be another big outbreak in the fall?
- Will there be a widespread outbreak in the southern hemisphere later this year?
- How quickly will our trading partners in Europe recover? And Asia?
- How soon will people return to their old spending habits?
- Will we provide the right kind of rescue and stimulus spending?
That’s a lot of unknowns. I’ve been pretty solidly on the side of believing that the economy can bounce back fairly quickly from the pandemic, but the more I read about new outbreaks in Asia; pandemic spread in the southern hemisphere; northern European unwillingness to help their poorer neighbors; and so forth—the more I read about this stuff, the less confident I become.
I have no strong new opinion to share here. I’m just acknowledging that this is a question that depends on a whole lot of unknowns.