Gross domestic product from April to June plunged 32.9%, according to the Commerce Department’s first reading on the data released Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for a drop of 34.7%.
Still, it was the worst drop ever, with the closest previously coming in mid-1921.
“Bottom line, the numbers of course are alarming but all self inflicted with about half the quarter reflecting almost full shutdown and the other half the slow reopening,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at the Bleakley Advisory Group. “That said, it does reflect the hole out of which we now need to climb out of as we rebound in Q3 and Q4.”
But, wait! There’s more:
More than 1.43 million people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, according to weekly data released Thursday by the Department of Labor. It’s the second-straight week that the number has risen, and the 19th week in a row that the U.S. has seen more than a million claims. For context, the prior peak was in 1982, when the weekly figure hit 695,000.
Three months of hell: