As governments release second quarter annual reports, the countries' Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures are indicating record-breaking lows.
Germany, the bloc's largest economyreported a GDP decline of 10.1% in the April-to-June quarter. France's economy started shrinking in the last quarter of 2019, before the coronaviruspandemic hit Europe with full force. Having endured what was surely a record-shattering slump last quarter, the US economy faces a dim outlook as a resurgent coronavirus intensifies doubts about the likelihood of any sustained recovery the rest of the year.
But one person who doesn't have time to wait is President Donald Trump, whose odds of reelection are likely plummeting right alongside the US economy as November draws near. The dates of presidential elections are enshrined in federal law and would require an act of Congress to change.
The tweet argues that the election should be delayed until voters can get to the polls in-person, to prevent mail-in voter fraud, which analysts have said happens at a rate of roughly 0.0025%.
Andrew Kenningham of Capital Economics says that he expects a rebound in GDP in the current, third quarter of the year. "We expect it will take years for that damage to be fully recovered", said Andrew Hunter, senior United States economist at Capital Economics.
"This led to rapid shifts in activity, as businesses and schools continued remote work and consumers and businesses canceled, restricted, or redirected their spending", it declared, adding, "The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic can not be quantified in the GDP estimate for the second quarter of 2020 because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and can not be separately identified". Spending by consumers collapsed at a 34.6 per cent annual rate as travel all but froze and shutdown orders forced many restaurants, bars, entertainment venues and other retail establishments to close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 300 points in late-morning trading.
More businesses have had to shut down again as virus cases rise, undermining the nascent United States recovery. Between June 21 and July 19, for example, the proportion of Texas bars that were closed shot from 25% to 73%.
The second surge does appear to be leveling off, but cases are still rising in close to 30 states.
Though the economy started to crawl out of its pandemic hole with the easing of lockdown restrictions in May and June, a surge of infections in some U.S. states has led officials to pause and in some cases, reverse those rollbacks.
That has led to mammoth job losses.
The pandemic also destroyed more than a million jobs in Spain in the second quarter, mostly in the services and tourism sector.
More than 1.4 million laid-off Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week.