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OPINION: Be skeptical of any claim the US economy will recover quickly

As the coronavirus wreaks havoc on the US economy, Americans should brace for a prolonged period of pain, not a swift recovery. The real damage has just begun to emerge.
In just the last two weeks of March alone, nearly 10 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance. In that time, about 6% of the US labor force lost their job. And consumers — the lifeblood of the economy — recently saw their confidence plunge to a 32-month low. Large parts of the economy have suddenly shut off. Turning them back on will not be a simple reversal of the switch.
We believe America should prepare for a long road to recovery. The likeliest scenario — specifically, for a situation where unemployment mushrooms to 15%, a record in modern American history — is the economy starts growing again by no earlier than September, and US GDP for the year contracts by 6%. For context, in 2019 — when the economy was humming — GDP grew by 2.3%. If American businesses prepare for this long, grueling haul, they can emerge from the crisis stronger. Expecting a rapid recovery that doesn’t pan out would only cause more pain.