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Trump economic adviser warns US GDP could plummet 30% this quarter as unemployment spikes to Great Depression levels

The peak national unemployment rate during the Great Recession was 10%, half of what it is now.
  • Trump's economic adviser Kevin Hassett told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Monday: "You're looking at something like minus 20% to minus 30% [GDP] in the second quarter."
  • Hassett also expects unemployment in the US to soar to 16-17%. Unemployment was 4.4% in March in the US. 
  • In a separate appearance, Hassett told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday: "Around 2008, we lost 8.7 million jobs and the whole thing. Right now, we're losing that many jobs about every 10 days."
  • The US will publish first quarter GDP figures on Wednesday. 
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The US is bracing for double-digit negative growth, and the real damage will only be seen further down the line, warned Trump's economic adviser.
Kevin Hassett, economic adviser at the White House, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Monday: "You're looking at something like minus 20% to minus 30% [gross domestic product] in the second quarter."
That the above is not even the worse-case scenario, he added.
The US is due to publish GDP figures for the first quarter on Wednesday.
Hassett also expects the US unemployment rate, due to be published next month, to soar to 16-17%.
Unemployment in the US was 4.4% in March, the highest since August 2017, and above market expectations.
Hassett's comments come days after US weekly jobless claims hit 4.4 million, bringing the five-week total to more than 26 million. This means that as of April 18, all the jobs created since the Great Recession have been wiped out.
In a separate appearance on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, Hassett said unemployment levels will surge to levels not seen since the the Great Depression.
"Around 2008, we lost 8.7 million jobs and the whole thing. Right now, we're losing that many jobs about every 10 days," he told ABC.
About 15 million jobs were lost during the Great Depression.
Asked by ABC what type of recovery he expects, Hassett said: "A lot will depend on what happens next."
"Over the next three to four weeks, everyone will pull together to come up with a plan to give us the best chance possible for a V-shaped recovery," he added.
Hassett told CNBC that a rapid recovery is possible assuming the virus does go away and states begin easing lockdowns.
"If the virus does start to go away in a way that makes it so that most every state feels comfortable that it's safe to open up, then we really could be looking at a rapid recovery because the incomes are still there," he said.
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