European GDP Plunges 14.4%

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.

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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.

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