Economic Insights on COVID-19

Dr. Marci Rossell shares her outlook on market recovery

Skyrocketing unemployment and a plunging stock market have stoked fears that the US—and the world—may be heading into a coronavirus-fueled recession. But economist Dr. Marci Rossell says there are some key differences between this financial crisis and previous recessions, which could indicate quicker financial recovery.

The former chief economist for CNBC shared her insight about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy during a Haworth Connect virtual presentation.

“What's so unprecedented about this situation is the job loss is almost immediate,” said Dr. Rossell.

She went on to explain that, typically, job loss is the last thing to happen in an economic downturn because it tends to be a lagging economic indicator. This time, a significant portion of the unemployment is tied to restrictions designed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, which causes the sometimes deadly COVID-19.

The rush by Congress to approve a series of stimulus packages shows the lessons learned from the 2008 Great Recession about the importance of moving quickly within their power to mitigate the income losses and to turn on the monetary spigots.

“I will applaud governments worldwide for seeming to really take that lesson to heart and step in and do that. It suggests that we might have an easier recovery ahead of us, because there hasn't been the same debate there was in 2008,” Dr. Rossell said.

Recovery took four years during the Great Recession because there was an enormous transition globally, through massive foreclosure processes and changes to the way banks were regulated around housing, and a significant shift in the financial markets.

“In 2008, where there was a legitimate reorientation of the economy, where too many resources had been poured into residential real estate, the economy took years to adjust to that new reality,” Dr. Rossell explained.

For more from Dr. Rossell, including her thoughts on timing and the way we work, visit Haworth Connect to watch the recorded presentation.

Woman Working From Home in Soji Chair

“We all know that it will be temporary. It will pass eventually. Unfortunately, a virus is in control of just how quickly that will happen. I'm not saying that this is necessarily the bottom, but we know that [the markets] are likely to recover much more quickly than they did in 2008. This is clearly not your average bear market.”

Dr. Marci Rossell
Economic Expert

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