Shoppers COVID Recession

COVID-Induced Recession Officially Ended In April 2020

Andrew Trunsky

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The economic recession induced by the coronavirus pandemic officially ended in April 2020, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) said Monday.

The recession officially began in February, just two months earlier and weeks before the virus began to rapidly spread nationwide, making it the shortest recession in recorded American history. May 2020 was the first month of continued economic expansion, the bureau said in a statement.

The NBER takes changes in income, employment, retail sales and industrial production into account when determining whether the economy has entered into a recession.

“The NBER’s traditional definition of a recession involves a decline in economic activity that lasts more than a few months,” the bureau said, noting that the pandemic’s onset differentiated the recent economic dip from previous ones. “The committee concluded that the unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production, and its broad reach across the entire economy, warranted the designation of this episode as a recession, even though the downturn was briefer than earlier contractions.”

Though short, the recession was extraordinarily severe as cases skyrocketed and businesses closed in an effort to slow the virus’ spread. 2020’s second quarter saw a nearly 33% drop in gross domestic product (GDP), the largest in U.S. history.

One quarter later, the GDP rebounded by 33.1%.

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