First Step to Restoring Economy is Stopping Pandemic, Says NRF Chief Economist

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the April issue of the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Monthly Economic Review, NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz says in order to see the economy bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic, the country must first “get the virus under control.” The Associated Press reported Thursday morning that U.S. unemployment claims hit 6.6 million for the week ending March 28, doubling that of the 3.3 million claims filed in the week ending March 21.

“How quickly the country gets a handle on containing the virus will determine the degree of the impact on the economy and how soon businesses can reopen,” Kleinhenz wrote in the report.

The NRF report highlighted that leaving 2019, the gross domestic product (GDP) was growing at 2.1 percent clip year over year and that the U.S. economy benefits from sound fundamentals, unlike during the Great Recession.

“Once the pandemic is over, we hope we will find that there is nothing structurally wrong with the economy and that any deficiencies were solved by monetary and fiscal policies,” Kleinhenz said.

Washington, D.C.-based NRF has advocated for retailers and policies for more than 100 years.

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