In the 1st quarter of 2020, the U.S. economy has suffered widespread ramifications of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Worldwide restrictions on in-person gathering and economic activity, along with the resultant job losses and disruptions to global supply chains, began to seriously impact the world economy in February and the U.S. economy in March. GDP and employment dropped suddenly during the last month of the quarter. Capital markets reflected pervasive anxiety. Federal and state governments, along with the central bank, passed measures to buffer the economy and citizens from the ensuing fallout. The Federal Reserve cut target interest rates to nearly zero and enacted large-scale quantitative easing measures. Congress passed a relief bill worth $2.2 trillion to soften the impact on American businesses and citizens. The full impact of the pandemic remains to be seen.
By the end of the 1st quarter of 2020, 186,800 U.S. cases and 3,890 deaths had been reported from COVID-19 . The viral disease has continued to spread exponentially, and as of May 1, 2020 there were 1,096,706 confirmed cases and 64,066 related deaths in the U.S., with 12 states reporting more than 25,000 cases. In March, states began making emergency declarations and instituting protective measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, mitigating the impending overwhelm of the U.S. healthcare system.