Man on the edge of a cliff
Partner Content by T Rowe Price

Consensus expectations may be overestimating the recovery trajectory

The severe threat posed by the novel coronavirus to public health and the drastic measures taken by governments to contain its spread have had a significant knock‑on impact on the U.S. and global economies. With so much uncertainty still surrounding the pandemic, necessitating ongoing social distancing measures, it is difficult to gauge just how long this acute economic disruption might last. Accordingly, we believe that current consensus expectations may be overestimating the trajectory for improvement and that the time frame for returning to a “normalized” environment will potentially take longer than is currently anticipated.

Trying to determine when a potential peak in the crisis might occur and how long it might take until we get to a normalized environment is highly dependent on how long social distancing measures remain in place, both in the U.S. and globally. While the impact of these measures on containing the outbreak in certain cities like New York has clearly been felt, the same success cannot necessarily be assumed for the rest of the country. Each state has taken its own approach to social distancing, implementing it at different times and with varying levels of support and adherence by the public. Therefore, it is difficult to get an accurate sense of how effective these measures will prove at a nationwide level.

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