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07-30-20 | Economic News

United States GDP has Biggest Drop in History

GDP Decreased 32.9% on an Annual Basis for Second Quarter

With 44 states issuing stay at home orders during the pandemic, the United States has seen a significant decrease in economic activity.

The quarterly update for the United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP) revealed that the country took a strong economic hit in the second quarter of 2020. In April through June, the GDP fell 9.5% from the last quarter and 32.9% from the second quarter of 2019. This marks the greatest drop in economic activity in the history of the country.

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According to a Dow Jones survey of economists, the decrease was expected as they found the drop was estimated to be about 34.7%, which was 1.8% off the actual value. This economic outcome is widely being accredited to lockdowns that have taken place throughout the nation. All but six states had stay-at-home orders at some point during the pandemic, and several that reopened have since locked down again.

The National League of Cities CEO and executive director, Clarence E Anthony, weighed in on the economic development in a statement. Anthony expressed a sense of pessimism over the quarterly numbers but went on to call for action from Congress to take necessary steps to improve cities and local governments. He said, "Today's devastating report on the contraction of the U.S. economy underscores what local leaders and economists have been warning for months - our national economic recovery will stall without significant investment in our communities. The economic picture is bleak. The reality on the ground is grim, and any hope of a quick economic recovery will be a pipe dream unless Congress provides direct federal assistance to cities, towns, and villages on the front lines."

Anthony went on to talk about the difficulties that limited budgets put on local governments and how those struggles have been exacerbated in economic recovery efforts. He specifically mentioned current and former Federal Reserve chairs who have made clear the limitations created by strained budgets but have been unsuccessful in mitigating this reality.

The NLC CEO continues his statement by discussing the decrease in revenue facing cities in explaining that, "Municipalities across the country are at serious risk of being wiped out. Facing more than $360 billion in projected revenue shortfalls over the next three years, our cities have already begun to lay off essential employees, cancel job-creating infrastructure projects, and reduce the services that support the operation and growth of small businesses in their communities." Anthony concluded his statement by again calling out Congress for action.

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