USC Study: Impact of Coronavirus on U.S. Economy Could Be $3-5 Trillion Over 2 Years

The pandemic's economic impact depends on several factors.
December 23, 2020

A new University of Southern California (USC) study found that the COVID-19 pandemic could result in between $3.2 trillion and $4.8 trillion in U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) net losses over the course of two years. The pandemic's economic impact depends on factors such as the duration and extent of the business closures, the gradual reopening process, infection rates and fatalities, avoiding public places, and pent-up consumer demand, according to the research.

The researchers found that the mandatory closures and partial re-openings alone could result in a 22 percent loss of U.S. GDP in just one year and an even greater loss of GDP over two years. While mandatory closures and re-openings are the most influential factor in the economy's decline, consumer avoidance behavior also has a significant effect. The team estimates that avoidance behavior can result in nearly $900 billion losses in U.S. GDP in the worst-case scenario.

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