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Second wave of coronavirus infections could cause a worse economic disaster, experts warn

The U.S. economy has faced a substantial loss due a nationwide shutdown. On April 29 , the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the gross domestic product shrank by 4.8% in the first quarter, the lowest it’s been since the worst of the 2008 financial crisis. It’s partially due to a steep 7.6% drop in consumer spending, which makes up about two-thirds of total GDP.

Although most of the U.S. remains under lockdown, states including Georgia began reopening on April 24 . State guidelines for reopening differ widely, but a key difference lies in which sector will open first and the speed of the process. Less-impacted states like Iowa simultaneously opened restaurants, fitness centers, malls and libraries at a 50% capacity on May 1 .

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“We have different states at very different places in the Covid outbreak and with different public health responses themselves,” said Jonathan Parker, a professor of finance at MIT, “so it’s crazy to think we can flip the national light switch back on and reopen the economy nationally given that they are all in different places.”

There is no guarantee that an early reopening can guarantee a successful economic recovery. Even if businesses open, consumers may not feel […]

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