Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he does not expect the coronavirus tipping the US economy into recession, even though growth will slow.
“Later in the year, obviously the economic activity will pick up as we confront this virus,” Secretary Mnuchin said Sunday on national television.
Secretary Mnuchin spoke as many businesses in the US and around the world slowed to a halt in response to the spreading virus.
The country’s biggest cruise lines are suspending operations for a month, marking the most sweeping response yet by the industry after a series of coronavirus outbreaks at sea. Hotels occupancy is dropping, Broadway has fallen dark, and airlines have idled planes amid travel bans globally.
“This is a unique circumstance,” Secretary Mnuchin said at a Saturday press conference at the White House. “There’s no question, because of the things that we’re requesting to do, there are parts of the economy shutting down or slowing down dramatically.”
He said an $8-B emergency spending bill and a House-passed economic relief plan are only the 1st 2 innings of a 9-inning ball game.
“We have a lot more we need to do with Congress,” Secretary Mnuchin said. “We will make sure the economy recovers.”
Officials and regulators around the world are struggling to soothe markets with their available tools.
Major stock indexes have entered a Bear market, ending an 11-yr run The $17-T US Treasury market is struggling with a lack of liquidity.
Secretary Mnuchin and Fed Chairman Powell are under pressure to ease investor concerns and bolster the economy.
President Trump, whose re-election campaign relies on the economy is keenly focused on the stock market as a proxy for his administration’s performance.
In a Saturday press conference giving an overview of the government’s response, President Trump pointed out that stocks saw a record daily spike as he declared a national emergency Friday.