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A V-Shaped Recovery Could Still Happen

Summary:
Given the sheer scale and unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 economic shock, it is not surprising that most commentators believe the outlook for recovery is bleak. But key weekly and monthly indicators suggest that a sharp return to growth remains more likely than not. LONDON – Since March, I have been more open than other commentators to the possibility of a “V-shaped” recovery from the pandemic-induced downturn (though I have also consistently warned of structural challenges facing many economies in the decade ahead). Wherever I have expressed this optimism, I have met with pushback, given the apparent depth and scale of the current crisis. And yet, as we move into July, many classic short-term leading and

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Given the sheer scale and unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 economic shock, it is not surprising that most commentators believe the outlook for recovery is bleak. But key weekly and monthly indicators suggest that a sharp return to growth remains more likely than not.

LONDON – Since March, I have been more open than other commentators to the possibility of a “V-shaped” recovery from the pandemic-induced downturn (though I have also consistently warned of structural challenges facing many economies in the decade ahead). Wherever I have expressed this optimism, I have met with pushback, given the apparent depth and scale of the current crisis. And yet, as we move into July, many classic short-term leading and coincident indicators still point to a V-shaped recovery, as does the Bank of England’s chief economist, Andy Haldane.

Despite the complications thrown up by COVID-19, the same weekly and monthly indicators that I have long relied on remain useful for separating signal from noise. During my early days as chief economist for Goldman Sachs, I helped to...

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