Second-quarter GDP fell by an annualized rate of 32.9%, making it the worst quarterly performance in post-war U.S. history. Following a 5% annualized decline in Q1, the whole economy will need to dig itself out of the deep Q2 decline. Consensus expectations of a Q3 bounce are pegged at around 18.4%. However, even if Q3 posts a strong recovery, it will take several consecutive quarters of strong performance to return to where we started the year.
Underlying the report, personal consumption and the services sector were the largest detractors, being down 34.6% and 43.5%, respectively. It was a record contraction in personal consumption, which helped fuel a huge reduction in inventories. The silver lining may be that when demand finally stabilizes and recovers, we can expect to see a significant bounce in production as inventories will need to be rebuilt.
Despite being a terrible report, the Q2 GDP report slightly beat expectations, and capital markets did not have a strong reaction with the S&P 500 down a modest 0.38% on the day.
Initial unemployment claims increased to 1.43 M (vs. 1.42 M the week prior) amid the re-tightening of economic activity. 17M people are receiving jobless aid, which is lower than the nearly 25M who received aid in early May. However, the current figure is almost 10x more than where it was at the beginning of the year.
Tech earnings blew through expectations late in the week with Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google reporting much stronger than expected profit and sales results, prompting rallies in those stocks amid pain elsewhere in the market.
The next phase of relief is meandering its way through Congress as negotiations continue. The Senate failed to take up the ~$3.5 T bill the House passed in May, instead of trying to put forth their proposal at ~$1 T and while some major issues appeared to have been worked out, there is still a lot of questions on what a bill that could pass both houses of Congress would look like.