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National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told Fox News Thursday that the severe economic contraction resulting from the coronavirus pandemic is not complete, but added that multiple forecasts show a “snapback" will occur in the second half of 2020.
“This is a deep, painful, hardship-ridden contraction. It is not completed yet,” Kudlow told “Outnumbered Overtime.”
The Labor Department reported earlier Thursday that more than 3.8 million Americans had filed for unemployment last week as the tidal wave of coronavirus-related job losses continues to grow.
The new report, which covers the week ending April 25, pushes the six-week total of job losses since states began adopting strict stay-at-home measures to 30.2 million. Unemployment at this scale hasn’t been recorded since the Great Depression, when the jobless rate peaked at 25 percent.
With a total workforce of about 162 million individuals, the latest job numbers bring the estimated unemployment rate around 18.5 percent.
Kudlow repeated his assurance that May will be a month of transition toward economic reopening.
“We’ve been meeting with business people, large and small companies, CEOs, almost everybody. People are looking towards reopening and I think when you see that, it is a turning point. I don’t think that is an unfair term to use or it’s not unrealistic to hope this is a turning point.”
Kudlow said that the Congressional Budget Office released a forecast showing a significant snapback beginning in the summer and leading into the fall. Kudlow noted that private sector forecasts “have similar views to the CBO.”
“They are saying [that in] the second half of this year, the real GDP could grow 17-20 percent and, by the way, they are also looking at a near 3 percent growth rate for 2021. I believe it actually will do better than that."
Fox News' Megan Henney contributed to this report.