US GDP drops 4.8% as COVID-19 numbers rack up

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The Gross Domestic Product of the world’s biggest economy slid 4.8% in the first quarter of this year, the biggest single drop since the Great Depression.  This ended the US biggest expansion in years and it may get worse as the numbers of COVID-19 infected persons rack up in the next few weeks.

And the Federal Reserve chief warns that the second quarter figures could even be uglier, with projections showing the economy could contract as big as 30% as Americans remain under quarantine. Fed chief Jerome Powell described this as “heartbreaking” as more Americans are expected to lose their jobs particularly minorities, such as Asians.

The US Commerce Department released data showing consumer and business spending nosedived in the first quarter. Household spending tumbled 7.6 percent, and business investment sank 8.6 percent, according to Washington Post.

Based on the COVID-19 tracker of the John Hopkins University, there are about 1.36 million Americans who contracted the novel corona virus, out of about 3.187 million worldwide. US figures are four times higher than Spain’s COVID-19 figures and puts the United States as the newest epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the US has more recoveries than deaths, and government has tested more than 6 million Americans. Among US states, New York reported 18,000 deaths.

Italy and Spain are reporting more deaths. Italy has registered 27, 682 deaths while Spain has 26,097. Despite placing third in the casualties list, France remains the top country with the most recoveries at 26,000.

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