Donald Trump unveils plan to reopen US economy
Donald Trump unveils plan to reopen US economyREUTERS

The US economy shrank this spring at the fastest rate ever on record, according to a report released Thursday by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The report said that while the US real GDP contracted by an annualized rate of 5.0 percent during the first quarter of 2020, from April through June, it shrank by an annualized rate of 32.9%.

That makes the recession sparked by government restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic the worst since the government began keeping comprehensive statistics back in 1947.

The annualized rate of economic growth or contraction shows how much the gross domestic product would have gained or lost if the rate recorded during a three-month period were experienced throughout an entire year.

Non-annualized, the US economy declined by 9.5% during the second quarter of 2020, shrinking by $1.8 trillion dollars.

The losses recorded by the US economy during the spring far exceed the contraction in GDP the US economy faced during the financial crisis during the Bush administration.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, at the peak of the contraction, the US economy shrank at an annualized rate of 8.4%, about a quarter less than the second quarter 2020 decline.

While the government did not keep quarterly GPD records until 1947, years after the end of the Great Depression, in 1932, when the US suffered its worst contraction, the economy shrank by a total of 12.9% - compared to a 9.5% contraction in a single quarter this year.

More than 20 million jobs were lost in April alone, sending unemployment claims soaring.

While millions of jobs were added to the economy since April, employment levels remain down by some 15 million since the pandemic began.