Economist Kevin Hassett, who served as the chairman of President Donald Trump's Council of Economic Advisers, shocked CNN's Poppy Harlow on Monday by issuing dire predictions about the state of the American economy.
During an interview on CNN, Hassett warned that there was a 95 percent chance of the American economy contracting this quarter and said there was a chance that the United States could lose up to 1 million jobs next month alone.
"I think in the U.S., we'll have a very terrible second quarter," he said. "We just ran the numbers carefully over the weekend, and we think the second quarter will be about minus-five percent, and we think the jobs number in early April might be as much as minus a million or so, because nobody is going to get hired next week."
Harlow appeared stunned by Hassett's projections.
"Potentially one of the worst jobs numbers we've ever seen," she said. "Wow."
Harlow then asked Hassett how policymakers should respond given that the Federal Reserve has already slashed interest rates to zero, and he said the U.S. needs a big fiscal stimulus in the form of a payroll tax holiday to help get through the next three months.
"They understand that and they need to give a big stimulus right now," he said. "If they have more ideas than a payroll tax holiday, they should pass that. But if they don't take big action, then that minus-five percent will spread into the third quarter, then we're looking at a recession."
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