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The Illusion of a Rapid US Recovery

America's economy – based on global demand for advanced goods, consumer demand for frills, and ever-growing household and business debts – was in many ways prosperous. But it was a house of cards, and COVID-19 has blown it down.

AUSTIN – As protests roil the United States, the country’s center-left economists gaze brightly into their crystal balls. Harvard’s Jason Furman, formerly chair of US President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, has warned Democrats – eager to defeat President Donald Trump in the November election – that “the best economic data ... in the history of this country” will emerge just before voters head to the polls. Paul Krugman is likewise predicting a “fast recovery.” The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office agrees. The stock market seems equally optimistic.