St. Louis Fed President James Bullard warned Wednesday that the impact of the novel coronavirus on the U.S. economy would be of historic proportion, but said the Federal Reserve still has some tricks up its sleeve.
“The numbers for the second quarter will be unparalleled compared to U.S. macroeconomic history,” Bullard told reporters. “I don’t think that has to be discouraging because these numbers are not comparable to anything that has occurred in the U.S. economy that we’ve recorded.”
Bullard added that he expects the “extraordinary” figures on GDP and unemployment to be “relatively brief.”
Based on St. Louis Fed research, Bullard projects the U.S. unemployment rate spiking up to 30%. The figure is based on the underlying assumption that about half of total employment is at “high risk” of layoff as businesses across the country shut down.