After 23 quarters of consecutive growth, the second quarter of 2020 has seen the steepest decline in the U.S. economy. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, “Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 32.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP decreased 5.0 percent.”
With respect to the impact of the pandemic, the BEA wrote, “The decline in second quarter GDP reflected the response to COVID-19, as “stay-at-home” orders issued in March and April were partially lifted in some areas of the country in May and June, and government pandemic assistance payments were distributed to households and businesses. This led to rapid shifts in activity, as businesses and schools continued remote work and consumers and businesses canceled, restricted, or redirected their spending.”
But what makes this news of the historic downturn even more disturbing, is that it is occurring when COVID-19 cases and deaths are rising again, stoking fears of another lockdown. Now in August, daily new cases are higher than ever, the death rate is climbing and 20+ million unemployed Americans will see a distressing drop-off in personal income because Congress has yet to come to an agreement on the weekly boost to regular unemployment benefits.
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Michael N. Mercurio is a leading attorney in the field of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). He serves as outside general counsel in buy-side and sell-side M&A, as well as in all business law and real estate law matters. As a strategic partner to firm clients, Mr. Mercurio regularly counsels entrepreneurial individuals and assorted entities on the many challenges, issues, and opportunities companies face throughout the business lifecycle—from start-up to eventual exit.
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