Did a third of the economy really vanish in just three months?

SectionsDemocracy Dies in Darkness

By Andrew Van DamJuly 30, 2020 at 6:58 a.m. MDT

The Commerce Department opened today’s announcement of second-quarter economic growth with an eyeball-blistering observation: “Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 32.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020.”

U.S. economy contracted at fastest quarterly rate on record from April to June as coronavirus walloped workers, businesses

That 32.9 percent represents the loss of a third of the economy. Let that sink in. Now let it wriggle back out again — it is not exactly true. Why? The Commerce Department reports quarterly GDP at an annual rate to allow easy comparisons to other time periods. Remove the annualization, and we see the economy contracted a still-abysmal 9.5 percent.392 CommentsMore from The Post

Fact Checker newsletter

Count the pinocchios: A weekly review of what’s true, false or in-between in politics, from The Post’s famous fact-checking team.

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy PolicyPAID PROMOTED STORIES

Recommended by

The Optimist newsletter

A selection of stories to help you disconnect, hit refresh and start the week off right, delivered every Sunday.

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy PolicyAbout Us

Get The Post


Terms of Use

washingtonpost.com © 1996-2020 The Washington Post…