Executive Summary

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, there has been a sudden and massive divergence in macroeconomic projections. For example, in early February, the spread among economic growth forecasts for Q2 in the U.S. was 3.5 percentage points according to FocusEconomics data. By April 29, the most optimistic forecast among the 28 institutions in our weekly coronavirus survey saw the U.S. economy contracting 8.2%. The most pessimistic projected a huge 65.0% contraction — a spread of 56.8 percentage points — with an average of -31.4%. There are three reasons for the divergence: First, the economic impact and speed of policy changes have never been higher. Second, the pandemic is undermining the reliability of economic data. Finally, economic forecasters are having to delve into the

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