Goldman Sees Virus Cutting U.S. Quarterly Growth by 0.4 Point


(Bloomberg) --

The outbreak of the coronavirus will cut U.S. economic growth by 0.4 percentage point in the first quarter as the number of tourists from China declines and exports to the Asian nation slows, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

A subsequent rebound of 0.3-0.4 percentage points in the second quarter will help to minimize the full-year impact on the U.S. economy, resulting in a marginal drop in growth of about 0.05 percentage point, Goldman economists led by Jan Hatzius wrote in a note.

Risks to this baseline scenario are “skewed toward a larger hit because a change in the news flow could lead to increased risk aversion -- less travel, commuting or shopping -- or a sustained tightening in financial conditions,” the economists said.

GLOBAL INSIGHT: Virus May Drag China GDP to 4.5%, Ripple Out

Goldman said it didn’t expect the virus outbreak to significantly alter its forecast that the Federal Reserve will stay on hold in 2020, although the possibility of a bigger hit to growth “does slightly increase the downside risks to our call.”

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Thursday the U.S. hasn’t seen any major effects on its economy from the spread of the coronavirus, and will refrain from using it as leverage in the second phase of China trade talks.

“This is principally a public-health problem and the pandemic of course is in China, not the U.S.,” Kudlow said Thursday in an interview on Fox Business Network. “Insofar as the economy, we see no material impact.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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