(April 10, 2020, 8 p.m. EST) - The newly released consensus forecast of 60 economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal is for an unprecedented -25.3% reduction of economic activity this quarter, followed by +6% growth in Q3, and +6.6% growth in Q4.
As you might expect, business owner optimism plunged in March. It was the largest monthly decline in the survey's history. But previous monthly declines of the same magnitude have occurred since the National Federation of Independent Business began this monthly survey in 1986, under the direction of chief economist William Dunkelberg. A month from now, the results of NFIB's survey will tell us much more about the future of the economy.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index, a benchmark of American financial might, and a proxy for progress worldwide, closed Friday at 2,789.82, up 11.4% from last Friday's closing price of 2,488.65. Expect volatility until the health crisis apex is more predictable, but keep in mind that the outbreak of COVID-19 is expected by public health authorities to be at its worst sometime between mid-April and the third week in June.
While the financial effects of the crisis are unfolding, the U.S. Government's response is massive. If you own a business and have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program or the CARES Act, please contact our office as soon as possible. Financial aid from the U.S. Government Small Business Administration is on a first-come, first-served basis.
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