After suffering from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic for four months, the ailing U.S. economy was widely expected to suffer another loss of four and a quarter million jobs in May, but in a stunning surprise the economy instead created 2.5 million jobs! The news was a complete surprise and a major step toward a recovery, but the road back is still likely to take many months
Wall Street has been expecting the jobless rate to rise by five points, from 14.7% in April. But instead of worsening to a rate of 19.7% as expected, May’s unemployment rate dropped! -- to 13.3%!
In another sign a recovery is already under way, corporate purchasing managers reported increased business activity for the second consecutive month, confirming that business activity bottomed in both the manufacturing and service sectors.
Although the big jobs surprise accelerates the recovery, the pandemic set back the U.S. economy significantly. It’s prudent not to expect a full recovery, back to the $19.2 trillion peak-GDP level in the fourth quarter of 2019 -- until the end of 2021, and that’s if nothing else goes wrong.
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