Washington, May 10 (PTI) America’s economy, hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, is likely to bounce back in the third and fourth quarter and is going to have a great 2021, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed nearly 80,000 American lives in the last two months and infected over thirteen lakh others, the US economy has come to a standstill.
“This is no fault of American business. This is not fault of American workers. This is a result of a virus. And that’s why the president and I were determined to put together the largest economic program ever to help American workers get through this, Mnuchin told Fox News.
More than 33 million Americans have lost their job in the last two months. The entire travel and tourism industry has collapsed. Manufacturing has come to a standstill and offices have closed down. The unemployment rate is at an all time high, worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s.
“The reported numbers are probably going to get worse before they get better, but that’s why we’re focused on rebuilding this economy. We’ll have a better third quarter. We’ll have a better fourth quarter. And next year is going to be a great year, Mnuchin said in response to a question.
At the same time, Mnuchin said that the economic numbers aren’t rosy. What I’ve said is you’re going to have a very, very bad second quarter and then I think you’re going to see a bounce back from a low standpoint. None of the economic models have ever worked in predicting what happens when you close down due to medical reasons, he said.
Mnuchin said that his predictions are based upon what he sees is the rate of reopening in a careful way.
It’s also based upon my views and I’ve personally heard from many of the doctors that have vaccines in trials and their expectations of being able to get a vaccine by the end of this year and having real viral treatments… All these things are going to help give American business and American workers the confidence to reopen in a careful and a deliberate way, he said.
Mnuchin said, If we do this carefully, I don’t think there is a considerable risk. Businesses will be able to reopen. This is all being monitored very carefully.
A lot of businesses can do telework. Not everybody has to come back into the office at the same time. But people will be able to go into stores, some of them will have reservations when they go in, but businesses will be able to reopen, he said.
Certain parts of the country had very devastating impacts, like New York, and certain parts of the country didn’t. And this is all being monitored very, very carefully, he added.