Will This Economic Crisis Have a V, U, or L-Shaped Recovery?
Let’s look at the possibilities. Here are the three types of recoveries that follow most economic slowdowns (the definitions are from the financial glossary at Market Business News):
- V-shaped recovery: an economic period in which the economy experiences a sharp decline. However, it is also a brief period of decline. There is a clear bottom (called a trough by economists) which does not last long. Then there is a strong recovery.
- U-shaped recovery: when the decline is more gradual, i.e., less severe. The recovery that follows starts off moderately and then picks up speed. The recovery could last 12-24 months.
- L-shaped recovery: a steep economic decline followed by a long period with no growth. When an economy is in an L-shaped recovery, getting back to where it was before the decline will take years.
No one can answer this question with one hundred percent certainty. However, most top financial services firms are calling for a V-shaped recovery. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo Securities, and JP Morgan have all recently come out with projections that call for GDP to take a deep dive in the first half of the year but have a strong comeback in the second half.
There have been two extensive studies done that look at how an economy has recovered from a pandemic in the past. Here are the conclusions they reached:
1. John Burns Consulting:
“Historical analysis showed us that pandemics are usually V-shaped (sharp recessions that
recover quickly enough to provide little damage to home prices), and some very cutting-edge
search engine analysis by our Information Management team showed the current slowdown
is playing out similarly thus far.”
2. Harvard Business Review:
“It’s worth looking back at history to place the potential impact path of Covid-19 empirically.
In fact, V-shapes monopolize the empirical landscape of prior shocks, including epidemics such
as SARS, the 1968 H3N2 (“Hong Kong”) flu, 1958 H2N2 (“Asian”) flu, and 1918 Spanish flu.”
The research says we should experience a V-shaped recovery.
No. Some are concerned that, even when businesses are fully operational, the American public may be reluctant to jump right back in.
As Market Business News explains:
“In a typical V-shaped recovery, there is a huge shift in economic activity after the downturn
and the trough. Growing consumer demand and spending drive the massive shift in economic
If consumer demand and spending do not come back as quickly as most expect it will, we may be heading for a U-shaped recovery.
In a message last Thursday, Chris Hyzy, Chief Investment Officer for Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank, agrees with other analysts who are expecting a resurgence in the economy later this year:
“We’re forecasting real economic growth of 30% for the U.S. in the 4th quarter of this year
and 6.1% in 2021.”
His projection, however, calls for a U-shaped recovery based on concerns that consumers may not rush back in:
“After the steep plunge and bottoming out, a ‘U-shaped’ recovery should begin as consumer
confidence slowly returns.”
The research indicates the recovery will be V-shaped, and most analysts agree. However, no one knows for sure how quickly Americans will get back to “normal” life. We will have to wait and see as the situation unfolds.
If you need to buy or sell your home during this Coronavirus crisis, we can help you. We have adjusted the way we work with home buyers and sellers, and have the processes and resources in place to help. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about what it takes to get your Phoenix Metro or East Valley home sold during these trying times. Just give me a call/text at 602-295-6807 and I will be glad to help.
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Troy Erickson Realtor
Troy Erickson has been blogging about Arizona real estate since 2006. He is a residential real estate agent who specializes in helping home buyers, sellers, and investors in Chandler and the East Valley. He has been recognized for his local market expertise, and frequently volunteers within his community.