Skip to main content

GDP decline expected, unusual

composite of two smiling men in suits

WVU's John Deskins and Scott Schuh can provide expert comment on the sharp decline in the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.

Download full-size

The sharpest dive in U.S. Gross Domestic Product in modern history may have been expected, but it is unusual, according to West Virginia University experts in economics.


“This recession is extremely unusual in that its cause stems from public health, not from economic problems. Indeed, the U.S. economy was doing well by most measures as of the beginning of this year. Given this unusual cause, it is very difficult to forecast the path of economic recovery since that recovery depends mostly on the containment of the virus. However, given the current evidence on long term damage to the economy, I remain optimistic that the economy will recover on a relatively quick pace once containment is assured.” —John Deskins, director, WVU Bureau of Business and Research

“Today’s Advance Estimate of 2020:Q2 real (inflation-adjusted) GDP revealed an historically large, but widely-expected, decline of 32.9 percent at an annual rate (the rate of decline for a whole year if economic activity continued the same for four quarters); the actual decline in the second quarter (from the first quarter) was 9.5 percent.  The latest (May 15) median forecast of second-quarter real GDP growth from the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) was –32.2 percent, almost exactly the Advance estimate. So, the level of U.S. economic activity declined by about one-tenth in Q2.

The decline in real GDP was more than three times larger than any quarter since 1947; the previous record was –10.0 percent in 1958:Q1.” —Scott Schuh, assistant professor, John Chambers College of Business and Economics

West Virginia University experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. Search for an expert by name, title, area of expertise, or college/school/department in the Experts Database at WVU Today.



CONTACT: Heather Richardson
Assistant Dean of Communications, Engagement and Impact
John Chambers College of Business and Economics

Call 1-855-WVU-NEWS for the latest West Virginia University news and information from WVUToday.

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.