The coronavirus pandemic will shrink U.S. economic output by $15.7 trillion over the next decade, or $7.9 trillion after adjusting for inflation, the Congressional Budget Office estimated on Monday.
In response to a request by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), CBO Director Phillip Swagel laid out how the pandemic has caused the budget office to dramatically revise projections it had issued in January, reducing its forecast for total U.S. economic output by a cumulative, inflation-adjusted 3% from 2020 through 2030.
Swagel said that the projections come with an “unusually high degree of uncertainty” given that it's not clear how the pandemic will play out, how social distancing will affect the economy, how past and future policy responses may affect the economy and even how economic data will be compiled amid the disruption caused by the virus.
Schumer and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) responded to the report by urging the Senate and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to “act with a fierce sense of urgency” and not wait another month to pass the next coronavirus aid package.
“How can Senator McConnell look at these catastrophic economic numbers and believe there is no ‘urgency’ to protect America’s working families?” they said in a statement. “At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, how can President Trump believe that what this country needs is another huge tax break for the top one percent?"