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Moody’s chief economist pours cold water on Trump’s boast he’ll bring the economy back quickly

President Donald J. Trump meets with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly Wednesday, May 20, 2020, in the Cabinet Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Appearing on CNN with host John King, a financial analyst for Moody’s dashed any hope Donald Trump might have had that the economy will bounce back quickly to pre-COVID -19 levels, saying it will be a long haul and it’s very likely permanent that damage has been done.


Following clips of the president predicting a quick rebound, King pressed Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi, “I read your analysis every week and you have a different view about whether the economy is going to bounce back immediately and whether we may hit another ditch come fall.”

“After that, I think the economy just goes sideways, treads water at best until we get a vaccine that is distributed and adopted,” Zandi began. “It’s hard to imagine businesspeople investing and expanding their businesses, consumers doing what they typically do until people feel comfortable that they’re not going to get sick if they go out and about.”

“It’s difficult for me to see this economy getting back on the rails until the other side of that vaccine. and then, John, even after that, it’s going to be a struggle because we’re going to see lots of businesses fail, bankruptcies, you can already see that in the headlines yesterday with Hertz filing for bankruptcy. It’s going to take a long time to get this economy back to where it was,” he added.

“We’ve lost — peak to trough will lose 25 million jobs. of course, there’s tens of millions of more people who have lost hours and wages,” Zani explained. “But 25 million jobs? We’ll get half of those back by Labor Day. and the unemployment rate is going to remain around 10% until we get that vaccine. and it won’t be until mid-decade until the economy can adjust and we get those jobs back. The kind of jobs we’re going to get back are different than the ones we have now. We’re going to lose a lot of jobs in the retail sector, hospitality, we’re going to have a lot of work re-educating people to make sure they have the skills necessary to take the jobs.”

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