U.S. President Donald Trump’s weekend attempt to sidestep stalled congressional negotiations over the next coronavirus aid package will do little to boost the economy, experts said.

Trump’s executive order and presidential memoranda, introduced on Saturday, would temporarily extend enhanced unemployment benefits at a reduced amount of $400 a week, defer payroll taxes for some workers, suspend federal student loan payments and potentially provide eviction relief. Even if he can overcome the legal questions surrounding his actions, the efforts may not pack much punch, economists say.

Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, calculated the orders could provide just over $400 billion in total relief. JPMorgan Chase economist Michael Feroli wrote in an email note on Monday that the initiatives could contribute “less than $100 billion” in stimulus.

That’s versus the $1 trillion aid package proposed by the Republican-led Senate or the more than $3 trillion aid bill passed by the Democrat-led House of Representatives.

Altogether, the president’s orders would add up to 0.2% of GDP, a “negligible amount,” according to estimates from Lydia Boussour, senior U.S. economist for Oxford Economics.

Millions of jobless Americans could be financially squeezed this month after the expiration of a $600 weekly supplement to unemployment benefits, the winding down of eviction moratoriums across the country and the end of the Paycheck Protection Program, which supported small businesses.

Source : News 18


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