What you're not hearing about Q2-2020 GDP

Thursday, July 30, 2020
Donald L. Luskin

In a health emergency when hospitals were supposed to be at capacity, the health care sector was the worst part of the worst-ever quarter.

Update to Strategic View

The single worst contributor to the worst quarter in the history of US GDP was health care services. It contracted less than some other sectors, but it is such a large share of overall GDP it has an outsized impact. Hospitals and clinics were shut to everyone but Covid-2019 patients, so standard treatments, tests and screenings could not take place. The capacity needed for Covid patients was wildly overestimated, which itself is good news. But there is both an economic and public health cost to denying health care to other patients. Going forward, the health care sector could be targeted for rapid reopening with very leveraged economic and health benefits built on public confidence in its safety.