We need a fiscal push for infrastructure modernization on the massive scale it took to rebuild Europe after World War II
As the Covid-19 pandemic wreaks havoc around the world, from China to Europe to the US, the economic disruption that it has brought is being felt. The most reliable high-frequency economic numbers are from the US, where the historically high unemployment claims of 3.28 million reported last week are indicative of the magnitude of its impact. The hardest hit were the accommodation and food services sectors, followed by healthcare, entertainment, recreation and manufacturing. Chinese car sales fell 86% in February. US gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecasts for the second calendar quarter are sharply negative, with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley forecasting 24% and 30% output declines (on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annual rate basis). Global growth estimates for 2020 have been revised to under 2% and are likely to head towards zero as the year wears on.