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Severe Downfall (Caída severa), by Isaac Cohen (Opinion)

Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, speaks during a news conference in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. The U.S. Federal Reserve delivered an emergency half-percentage point interest rate cut today in a bid to protect the longest-ever economic expansion from the spreading coronavirus. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, speaks during a news conference in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. The U.S. Federal Reserve delivered an emergency half-percentage point interest rate cut today in a bid to protect the longest-ever economic expansion from the spreading coronavirus. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

At the usual press conference, after the last meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, Chair Powell mentioned the millions unemployed, which based on the number of jobless claims now exceeds 30 million workers, or 12.4 percent of the workforce.

WASHINGTON, EE.UU. May 5, 2020 (By Isaac Cohen*) — The term “severe downfall” was used by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, last week, to describe the consequences of the “abrupt halt,” in several sectors of economic activity, decreed to deal with the “public health crisis” caused by the spread of the coronavirus.

At the usual press conference, after the last meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, Chair Powell mentioned the millions unemployed, which based on the number of jobless claims now exceeds 30 million workers, or 12.4 percent of the workforce. He also said plummeting household spending, by 7.5 percent, almost paralyzed sectors such as air transportation, hospitality and entertainment, also retail and even manufacturing output, all of them in abrupt decline by the end of this year’s first quarter. https://is.gd/K8GMmc

Overall economic activity in the United States, during the last quarter, decreased -4.8 percent and during the second quarter it is projected to fall even more. On May 1, the GDPNow model from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta estimated real GDP growth, during the second quarter of 2020, will fall -16.6 percent.

The April unemployment figure, to be released this coming Friday by the Labor Department, is projected to be around the 20 percent prediction made by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during negotiations with Congress.

CAÍDA SEVERA

WASHINGTON, EE.UU. 5 mayo, 2020 (Por Isaac Cohen*) — El término “severa caída” fue usado por el Presidente de la Reserva Federal Jerome Powell, la semana pasada, para describir las consecuencias de la “abrupta parada” en varios sectores de actividad económica, decretada para lidiar con la “crisis sanitaria” causada por la propagación del coronavirus.

En la conferencia de prensa usual, después de la reunión del Comité de Mercado Abierto, el Presidente Powell mencionó los millones de desempleados, quienes con base en el número de solicitudes de seguro de desempleo ahora superan 30 millones de trabajadores, o 12.4 por ciento de la fuerza de trabajo. También dijo que la caída en el consumo de los hogares, de 7.5 por ciento, ha casi paralizado sectores como el transporte aéreo, la hospitalidad y el entretenimiento, así como el comercio al menudeo y hasta la producción manufacturera, todos ellos en abrupto descenso al final del primer semestre de este año. https://is.gd/K8GMmc

La totalidad de la actividad económica en Estados Unidos, durante el último trimestre, disminuyó -4.8 por ciento y durante el trimestre en curso la proyección es que caerá aún más. El 1 de mayo, el modelo GDPNow de la Reserva Federal de Atlanta estimó que el crecimiento del Producto Interno Bruto (PIB) real, durante el segundo trimestre de 2020, caerá -16.6 por ciento.

La cifra de desempleo en abril, que será divulgada el próximo viernes por el Departamento de Trabajo, será de alrededor del 20 por ciento pronosticado por el Secretario del Tesoro Steven Mnuchin durante negociaciones con el Congreso.

*International analyst and consultant, former Director ECLAC Washington. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio, Univision, Telemundo and other media. | Analista y consultor internacional, exdirector de la Oficina de la CEPAL en Washington. Comentarista de economía y finanzas de CNN en Español TV y radio, Univisión, Telemundo y otros medios.