We’ve all known that the COVID-19 pandemic was negatively impacting the economy in the U.S. Now, we have data to paint a broad picture.
Gross domestic product contracted at a 4.8 percent annualized rate between January and March, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. It’s the largest drop since 2008 and, with the second quarter also expected to be in the red, it marks the end of an economic expansion that began in mid-2009. Effectively, a recession has begun.
Our industry is of course dependent on economic growth to spur hiring, which in turn leads to relocations and assignments. It’s too early to say what the full reach of COVID-19 will be on mobility, but it’s no doubt suppressed activity so far. We’ve already seen a number of clients postpone hiring decisions and put moves on hold indefinitely, and this figures to continue into the second quarter and likely beyond.
The world’s largest economy shrank at a 4.8% annualized pace in the first quarter, the biggest slide since 2008 and the first contraction since 2014, as the need to fight the coronavirus forced businesses to close and consumers to stay home.