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US economy 'may be' heading to recession due to COVID-19

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-03-17 07:18

US President Donald Trump holds a news briefing on the coronavirus outbreak while accompanied by members of the coronavirus (COVID-19) task force at the White House in Washington, US, March 16, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump said Monday that the United States could be coping with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) until July or August and the country's economy "may be" heading toward a recession.

"Well, it may be," Trump said in a press conference at the White House while responding to a question about whether the country's economy is heading toward a recession.

However, Trump predicted growth would bounce back strongly.

"We're not thinking in terms of recession. We're thinking in terms of the virus," he said. "Once we stop, I think there's a tremendous pent-up demand both in terms of the stock market, in terms of the economy."

Trump also released guidelines that called for people to avoid gathering of 50 people or more across the nation for the next eight weeks and to steer clear of eating and drinking at bars, restaurants and food courts.

"We have an invisible enemy," he said. "This is a bad one. This is a very bad one."

The Dow Jones industrial average on Monday collapsed 2,999 points, or 12.9 percent, to close at 20,188.52. It is the Dow's second worst percentage loss in history behind the "Black Monday" crash in 1987.

The number of infections in the United States climbed to about 3,800, with at least 70 deaths.

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