Gross domestic product from April to June plunged 32.9%, according to the Commerce Department’s first reading on the data released Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for a drop of 34.7%.
Not the Great Depression nor the Great Recession nor any of the more than three dozen economic slumps over the past two centuries have ever caused such a sharp drain over so short a period of time.
By comparison, the worst quarter during the financial crisis of 2008 was the 8.4% GDP drop in the fourth quarter of that year. The previous low-water mark was a 10% slide in the first quarter of 1958.
Update: Fixed the headline to make clear this was the decline in the annualized rate.