Tags: Coronavirus | hassett | economy | shutdown | pandemic

Hassett: Second Quarter 'One of the Biggest Negative Numbers' Seen

kevin hassett wearing a black suit and blue tie speaking in the press briefing room
Kevin Hassett (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 20 April 2020 11:02 AM

The second quarter will show dramatically low numbers because of the nationwide shutdowns over the coronavirus pandemic, but economist and White House senior adviser Kevin Hassett said Monday that depending on how the economy bounces back, he "wouldn't call it a recession."

"I think it is quite likely that the second quarter is going to be one of the biggest negative numbers that we have seen, because we basically stopped the economy," said Hassett, the former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers who has recently returned to the White House to advise on virus-related matters, in an interview with Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo.

He added that the numbers for the first quarter are "looking to be negative too" as the pandemic started near the end of it, but the future of the economy will depend on "the bounce back with what we've done with all these policies."

"We have kind of built a bridge to the other shore, but we don't know exactly where the other shore is," said Hassett. "Hopefully we are getting there soon. Then once we get there because we built this good bridge, the hope is that we can take off pretty sharply right away."

Meanwhile, he said, Democrats are holding up additional money for the small business loan program, but he'd like them to realize they are affecting people's means to pay their rent and bills and to feed their children, more than hindering businesses. 

"This is a serious situation," said Hassett. "We should not have a relapse in funding."

Hassett said he thinks President Donald Trump made a "wise choice" when saying he'd leave it up to governors to reopen their states. 

"I think that now, the gradual opening up of the economy will happen place by place, based on the judgment of local officials," said Hassett. "People are looking at Dr. [Deborah] Birx, Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, and the president especially, taking cues from him now that he said, 'Well, if your governor thinks safe to open up you can start to go back to work,' I think that will have a very, very big effect."

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The second quarter will show dramatically low numbers because of the nationwide shutdowns over the coronavirus pandemic, but economist and White House senior adviser Kevin Hassett said Monday that depending on how the economy bounces back, he "wouldn't call it a...
hassett, economy, shutdown, pandemic
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2020-02-20
Monday, 20 April 2020 11:02 AM
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