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Q2 GDP: US economy contracted by worst-ever 32.9% in Q2, crushed by coronavirus lockdowns

Published: July 30, 2020
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Source: Yahoo Finance

The US economy contracted at the sharpest rate on record in the second quarter this year, affirming fears that the coronavirus pandemic and measures to contain it drove a historic plunge in consumer and business activity.

Here were the main metrics from the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ (BEA) advance Q2 GDP report, compared to consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg:

  • Q2 GDP annualized, quarter over quarter: -32.9% vs. -34.5% expected vs. -5.0% in Q1

  • Q2 Personal consumption: -34.6% vs. -34.5% expected vs. -6.8% in Q1

  • Core Personal consumption expenditures, quarter over quarter: -1.1% vs. -0.9% expected vs. 1.7% in Q1

Market participants were bracing for an ugly second-quarter print, with the coronavirus pandemic forcing business closures and disrupting daily life for much of the April through June period.

“The decline in second-quarter GDP reflected the response to COVID-19, as ‘stay-at-home’ orders issued in March and April were partially lifted in some areas of the country in May and June, and government pandemic assistance payments were distributed to households and businesses,” The BEA said in its statement. “This led to rapid shifts in activity, as businesses and schools continued remote work and consumers and businesses canceled, restricted, or redirected their spending.”

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