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Riddle Me This: What Looks Like A ‘V’ But Feels Like A ‘U’?

By Kevin Flanagan

Ah, remember the original Batman TV series? There was nothing like a good Riddler riddle for the dynamic duo. Well, the answer to my crack at it is pretty straightforward: the U.S. economy.

As I’ve blogged about before, there are a variety of economic indicators that have shown clear signs of a “V”-shaped recovery. The most noteworthy have been retail sales and various employment gauges, as well as both manufacturing and service-related survey activities. But the one everyone is waiting for is the measure for overall economic activity – real GDP.

After the end of 2019, the U.S. economy went straight into negative territory, as the pandemic-related shutdowns produced unprecedented contractions in activity. First up, Q1 2020 real GDP fell by -5.0%, and that was followed up by the unfathomable plunge of -31.7% in Q2. Most market participants have been of the mindset that this cratering of

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