White House to skip expected mid-year economic projections -Washington Post

by Reuters
Thursday, 28 May 2020 14:30 GMT

(Adds no immediate comment from White House, background)

WASHINGTON, May 28 (Reuters) - The White House will not release updated economic projections this summer, including one for the federal deficit, in a break with a long-standing practice, the Washington Post reported on Thursday, citing three people familiar with the move.

The so-called mid-session review typically includes updated projections on unemployment, inflation, economic growth and other economic trends. But economic volatility amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic made such modeling difficult, two unnamed White House officials told the Post.

Representatives for the White House did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the report.

The outbreak, which has claimed more than 100,000 U.S. lives and infected more than 1.7 million people nationwide, has had devastating health consequences and shattered the economy. More than 40 million people have filed for unemployment benefits since March 21, although claims have declined steadily since hitting a record 6.867 million in late March.

The economic report is usually released by the White House every July or August following its proposed federal budget each February. But this year's review will not include the economic projections, which budget experts told the Post had not been excluded since at least the 1970s, according to the report.

White House officials have pointed to projections by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office for a sharp bounceback in growth the third quarter, but they have not addressed the CBO's longer-term forecasts showing the economy still not fully healed by the end of 2021. (Writing by Susan Heavey Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Steve Orlofsky)

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