How Fast Will the Economy Recover From COVID-19?

Apparently my old workplace has been deemed nonessential. Sad.Kevin Drum

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

How quickly will the American economy recover after the COVID-19 pandemic is over? That depends on a whole lot of things:

  • Will it really be over in a couple of months? Or will small outbreaks keep springing up here and there?
  • Will there be another big outbreak in the fall?
  • Will there be a widespread outbreak in the southern hemisphere later this year?
  • How quickly will our trading partners in Europe recover? And Asia?
  • How soon will people return to their old spending habits?
  • Will we provide the right kind of rescue and stimulus spending?

That’s a lot of unknowns. I’ve been pretty solidly on the side of believing that the economy can bounce back fairly quickly from the pandemic, but the more I read about new outbreaks in Asia; pandemic spread in the southern hemisphere; northern European unwillingness to help their poorer neighbors; and so forth—the more I read about this stuff, the less confident I become.

I have no strong new opinion to share here. I’m just acknowledging that this is a question that depends on a whole lot of unknowns.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.