The coronavirus outbreak has been going on for almost six months now, but in the US, the economic effects of shutting down businesses and confining people to their homes is just starting to bite. From Sophie Quinton at pewtrusts.org:
DENVER — Economists who advise the Colorado legislature told lawmakers in mid-March to expect a roughly $800 million revenue decline for the next fiscal year as people travel and dine out less during the coronavirus pandemic.
That estimate already looks far too optimistic. “The forecast that we released in March — we weren’t imagining the world that we’re living in right now,” said Kate Watkins, chief economist for the Legislative Council Staff, the nonpartisan research arm of the Colorado General Assembly.
Governors nationwide have ordered businesses to close and people to stay home in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. But the public health measures have created an economic crisis that will, in turn, hit state and city budgets.
Now policymakers are scrambling to figure out how much spending power they’re losing at a moment when they need money to fight the pandemic and help laid-off workers and struggling businesses.