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The American Economy Just Before Covid-19

Summary:
The determination by the National Bureau of Economic Research that the American economy entered into recession in February 2020 was a surprise for many. The recession started before the World Health Organization declared a pandemic and a full month before President Trump declared a state of emergency. But is this early recession really surprising? In a feature article to appear in the forthcoming (Summer) issue of Regulation, which will hit the newsstands before the end of this month and the web earlier, I tried to see what diagnosis of the “Trump economy” (if such a label can be used) could be made on December 31, 2019. My article contains 9 figures that give a good idea of the evolution of the American economy during these three years. Some of the data may

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The determination by the National Bureau of Economic Research that the American economy entered into recession in February 2020 was a surprise for many. The recession started before the World Health Organization declared a pandemic and a full month before President Trump declared a state of emergency. But is this early recession really surprising?

In a feature article to appear in the forthcoming (Summer) issue of Regulation, which will hit the newsstands before the end of this month and the web earlier, I tried to see what diagnosis of the “Trump economy” (if such a label can be used) could be made on December 31, 2019.

My article contains 9 figures that give a good idea of the evolution of the American economy during these three years. Some of the data may surprise you. My main question was: To which was the American economy prepared for an economic shock? I don’t want to spoil the suspense, but I think that the subtitle of my article is not badly chosen: “Three Years of Volatile Continuity.” But wait to see the charts.

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