Mnuchin: ‘You’re going to see the economy really bounce back in July, August, September’
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday predicted the U.S. economy hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic would rebound this summer and early in the fall even as Fox News’s Chris Wallace noted most experts have projected a longer, slower recovery.
“I think as we begin to reopen the economy in May and June you’re going to see the economy really bounce back in July, August, September,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“We are putting an unprecedented amount of fiscal relief into the economy,” he added. “You’re seeing trillions of dollars that’s making its way into the economy, and I think this is going to have a significant impact.”
Wallace, however, noted that the Congressional Budget Office recently predicted the economy will contract by 5.6 percent for the year and that unemployment will peak at 16 percent in the third quarter.
In response, Mnuchin said that “we’ve never seen anything like this,” in reference to the pandemic. “We’ve closed the economy, and we’re going to open the economy. … This is not the financial crisis [of 2008].”
Wallace also asked Mnuchin about the Paycheck Protection Program, the small-business loan fund that ran dry in mid-April and was later found to have awarded loans to major chains such as Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Shake Shack, both of which have since returned the aid.
“I just want to put this in perspective. We launched a brand-new program in an incredibly short period of time. … The fact that we ran out of money just shows the success of this,” Mnuchin responded, noting that the program has since implemented guidance aimed at keeping more loans from going to national chains.
“I think you’re going to see this move in the right direction, and I think you’re also going to see the average loan size go down significantly,” he said.
Mnuchin also addressed the possibility of aid to cities and states in future stimulus packages, which was left out of the most recent package, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) comments that states should be allowed to declare bankruptcy.
The Treasury secretary said further aid to states is “is something we’ll consider, but our focus is on execution.”