The U.S. economy shrank by a shocking 32.9 percent annual rate in the second quarter—the biggest decrease since record-keeping began. Bloomberg News reports economists had predicted a 34.5 percent slump ahead of Thursday morning’s announcement from the Commerce Department. It’s said to be the biggest hit to the U.S. economy since quarterly records starting being routinely estimated back in 1947. The plummet was the result of dozens of U.S. states going into lockdown as the coronavirus pandemic fanned out across the country; economists have said they expect growth to return for the third quarter, which began at the beginning of July.
New jobless claim figures out Thursday also painted a bleak picture of the U.S. economy, with initial applications last week rising to 1.43 million. The Wall Street Journal reported the new filings appear to show the surge in new infections is slowing the recovery in several states.