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Credit Conditions North America: Pressures Persist, Risks Resound

The path of the U.S. economy’s eventual emergence from recession has yet to become clear. We expect credit conditions to remain extraordinarily difficult at least into the second half of this year. Amid the severe economic stop associated with coronavirus-containment and -mitigation measures, companies’ cash flows and liquidity have, in many cases, disappeared and borrowing conditions remain oppressive to many others. On the other hand, the unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus coming from Washington may help stabilize the capital market and relieve some of the intense pressure on liquidity for borrowers across sectors. For the U.S., we now forecast a contraction in second-quarter (annualized) GDP of an unprecedented 34.5%, and that the economy will shrink 5.2% for the full year before rebounding with 6.2% growth next year and 2.5% in 2022. All told, we think the world’s biggest economy won’t get back to its end-2019 level until the third quarter of 2021.

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