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UCLA projection: US could be in a depression into 2023

Posted at 7:26 PM, Jun 24, 2020

Following economic shutdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and with the US still dealing with the spread forthe pandemic, experts from the UCLA foresee a US economic depression into 2023.

The researchers say that unemployment levels of 10% could persist into the fall, and 6% unemployment could remain through the end of 2022.

US unemployment was below 4% earlier this year.

"To call this crisis a recession is a misnomer. We are forecasting a 42% annual rate of decline in real GDP for the current quarter, followed by a 'Nike swoosh' recovery that won't return the level of output to the prior fourth quarter of 2019 peak until early 2023," writes UCLA Anderson Forecast senior economist David Shulman in an essay titled "The Post-COVID Economy."

The researchers note that the economy has already hit rock bottom. But GDP and employment levels won’t see a quick recovery.

But Shulman said that the entire economic meltdown cannot be blamed on the coronavirus. Shulman and UCLA researchers say the pandemic has accelerated economic trends that were already moving toward increased digitization of business functions and online commerce.