The economy’s future is a question mark.
There is widespread agreement that the United States economy will soon begin to recover from coronavirus lockdowns. The big debate is whether that rebound will resemble a V, a W, an L or a Nike Swoosh.
Increasingly, economists and analysts are penciling in another glyph: a question mark.
Forecasters often label their expectations for a post-recession rebound with letters — a “V” suggests a rapid recovery, a “W” a double-dip, and so on — but that’s hard to do this time around. As all 50 states begin to open up, consumers trickle out of their homes and businesses make adjustments — crafting everything from restaurant protocols to remote auctions — the path ahead is wildly uncertain, making prognostication dicey.
It isn’t just Wall Street forecasters eschewing declarative forecasts and the alphabet in favor of a range of what-ifs. From the Federal Reserve to the White House, analysts have suggested that posing confident prognostications is probably more misleading than helpful.
Larry Kudlow, director of the White House National Economic Council, said at an event sponsored by The Washington Post that he shares President Trump’s expectation for a rapid bounce-back, but suggested that there are wide ranges around those estimates.
“It’s really hard to model a virus, or a pandemic, the likes of which we haven’t seen in 100 years,” Mr. Kudlow said.
“You can have your own Vs; there’s Vs, there are lesser Vs,” Mr. Kudlow said. “There are combos of Us and Vs.”
Cognizant of that uncertainty, the White House confirmed it will not even issue an update to its economic forecasts this summer, breaking decades of tradition.
N.Y.C. is expected to begin reopening June 8, and five upstate areas are cleared for broader reopening.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said Friday that he expected New York City to meet benchmarks that would allow it to begin reopening on June 8.
Under the first phase of reopening, nonessential stores could open for curbside pickup and nonessential construction and manufacturing can resume.
The city is the only part of the state that has not met all the seven health-related benchmarks the state requires to enter Phase 1 of reopening. As of Friday morning, it did not have enough hospital beds available or contact tracers in place.
“I am proud of the way New York is figuring it out,” Mr. Cuomo said. Mayor Bill de Blasio appeared virtually at Mr. Cuomo’ds daily briefing.
The governor also said that five upstate areas were cleared to enter the second phase of reopening, in which offices, stores and personal-service businesses like barber shops can reopen, with restrictions.
The five regions — Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and the Mohawk Valley — cover most of the state except for New York City and its suburbs, the Albany area, the Buffalo area and Long Island.
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