• Half of panelists expect return to 4Q 2019 GDP level in 2022
  • Majority say Congress should extend aid to unemployed

The U.S. economy will emerge from the recession in the second half of this year or at some point in 2021, and a majority of economists said Congress needs to extend supplemental aid, according to a National Association for Business Economics survey.

Two-thirds of panelists said the economy is still in the recession that started in February, while nearly 80% indicated that there is at least a one-in-four chance of a double-dip recession. The NABE survey summarizes the responses of 235 members and was conducted between late July and early August.

A majority of panelists said they believe Congress should extend supplemental unemployment insurance and the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses, with 22% indicating that the next fiscal package should be $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion.

After Congress failed to agree on a new stimulus package, letting the extra $600 a week in unemployment assistance expire, President Donald Trump announced in early August that he would redirect disaster-relief funds to provide federal aid to the unemployed by executive action.

While 40% of respondents rate the fiscal response by Congress as “insufficient,” 37% said it’s “adequate.” At the same time, more than 75% of panelists said the Federal Reserve monetary policy is currently “about right,” the strongest approval in more than 13 years.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Maeve Sheehey in Baltimore at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Scott Lanman at [email protected]