The US is handling the coronavirus recession much better than Europe

Contrary to what you might have been told, a 32.9% fall in GDP is a smaller decline than a 22.1% one, or even an 11.9% decline. Those are the economic slowdown estimates for, respectively, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. It’s not magic, or deceit, or even American exceptionalism that explains why that 32.9% is actually smaller than 22.1% and 11.9. It’s because the U.S. reports economic changes on an annualized basis (meaning it shows how bad it would be if the quarter continued all year), while everyone else just lists what happened during those three months. Removing that trick means that the U.K. saw a 22.1% economic decline in the second quarter, Germany saw an 11.9% decline, and the U.S. economy contracted by “only” 10.6%. You can see it all clearly in the below graph.


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