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While speaking in a Brookings Institution online event late Tuesday, the former Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Ben Bernanke said the coronavirus pandemic induced stay-at-home orders and its resultant impact on the businesses is likely to cause the US economy to contract by 30% or more in the second quarter of 2020.

Key quotes

Overall, it could be a very bad year for the economy.

So far the fiscal and monetary policy responses have been pretty good, though more will be needed.

There are things we can do to open up the economy, significantly perhaps, but I don’t see the economy returning to a more normal state until there’s much greater confidence … that opening up the economy won’t restart the crisis.

The US economy will recover and within a few years will show only modest marks of this experience.

If we could shut off the epidemic, of course the economy would bounce back quickly,” he said. But it is more likely that activity will only be restarted gradually and may need to be slowed again if the virus resurges.