Did you think yesterday’s economic news was bad? Try this on for size:
The eurozone’s gross domestic product…shrank by 14.4% on an annual basis, far exceeding the 4.8% contraction in the U.S. economy over the same period. That largely reflects Europe’s earlier and broader lockdown….Some rebound in activity in the eurozone is expected in the second half of the year, but economists no longer expect the lost output to be quickly recovered. ECB economists expect the economy to shrink by between 5% and 12% this year, Ms. Lagarde said.
There’s not really much to say about this. These are Great Depression numbers. The only silver lining is that modern Europe’s social democracies are better placed to stay on an even keel than we are—though a lot of that depends on how they handle the crushing economic blow that CV19 has brought to southern European countries.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, though, I’ll point out that I learned of this from the Wall Street Journal, which gave it modest placement below its main story along with a bland headline: “Record Contraction in the Eurozone Bodes Ill for Quick Global Rebound.” They would have paid more attention to a thousand-point drop in the Dow. It’s pretty obvious that no one is treating this like a “real” drop of 14.4 percent.