“Unfortunately, resuming normal activity cannot be achieved by diktat from the top,” said economist Megan Greene, a senior fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. “It needs to start with much more confidence from consumers, and we are still a long way off from that.”
Trump also can’t restore trillions of dollars in economic activity already vaporized for good. The president may wish to wave an economic magic wand and return the nation to where it was before the coronavirus slammed on the brakes in order to boost his reelection prospects. But it’s simply not possible.
“I do think we will see some lasting damage here,” Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase, said in a POLITICO briefing on Tuesday. “And this is under a benign assumption about the course of the virus and that we don’t have false starts where we reopen the economy then have to shut it down again.”
Feroli added that he thought activity could begin to ramp up slowly starting in June, “but not quite to where it was before. We do see growth down for the year by 7 percent.”