Posted July 30, 2020

GDP records sharpest ever decline

The U.S. economy logged its sharpest ever decline in GDP in the second quarter, as real gross domestic product decreased at an annualized rate of 32.9 percent.

"The decline in second quarter GDP reflected the response to COVID-19, as 'stay-at-home' orders issued in March and April were partially lifted in some areas of the country in May and June, and government pandemic assistance payments were distributed to households and businesses," according to a statement from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The 32.9 percent figure represents the annualized rate of contraction, which differs from the 9.5 percent actual contraction that occurred between April and June.

Before the pandemic, the worst GDP print on record was in the first quarter of 1958, when GDP fell 10.0 percent on an annualized basis.

U.S. economic activity contracted by 5.0 percent in the first quarter of 2020.