The unemployment rate in the U.S. could hit 30 percent, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said in Bloomberg News interview.
“This is a planned, organized partial shutdown of the U.S. economy in the second quarter. The overall goal is to keep everyone, households and businesses, whole,” Bullard said. “It is a huge shock and we are trying to cope with it and keep it under control.”
That would be the highest rate of unemployment since the Great Depression.
Bullard said he expects economic growth to plunge 50 percent in the second quarter but for the economy to bounce back later in the year, so long as the appropriate measures are taken by the fiscal and monetary authorities.
“I would see the third quarter as a transitional quarter,” Bullard said. The next six months, however, could be very strong. “Those quarters might be boom quarters,” he said.
Bullard also said the Fed was far from being “out of bullets,” as some Fed watchers have claimed.
“There is more that we can do if necessary,” he said. “There is probably much more in the months ahead depending on where Congress wants to go.”