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Market Commentary – February 2020

What We Know So Far

Coronavirus Covid-19 Impacts Difficult to Forecast

Given the fluidity of the problem and the daily changes in the population affected by the disease, the economic impact associated with coronavirus Covid-19 is decidedly difficult to forecast. Early expectations for Covid-19 impacts have been built around past knowledge of the 2003 SARS virus (another coronavirus strain) outbreak, which was largely contained and short-lived. The first SARS case was detected in the fall of 2002 and the pointed concern over the disease extended to July of 2003. It infected 8,098 people and caused 774 deaths according to the World Health Organization.

The domestic economic effect was short-lived as well, as SARS negatively impacted U.S. GDP in late 2002 and early 2003, but growth snapped back late in 2003. Covid-19 has already infected more people, caused more deaths, and the rising trajectory of known cases remains problematic.