WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said on Wednesday the U.S. economy appears to have hit a turning point after rapidly plunging into a recession due to the coronavirus pandemic about three months ago.
“The stock market is presaging an upturn in the economy,” he said in an interview on CNBC, citing the recent market rally and a variety of indicators he said were green shoots of the economy.
The government jobs report released on Friday unexpectedly showed that the U.S. unemployment rate dropped in May while businesses added jobs. Kudlow told CNBC he expected upcoming reports for June and July to also be strong.
Despite the positive signs, the White House and lawmakers continue to discuss another funding round to boost the economic recovery. Kudlow told reporters at the White House “there’s a lot of options.”
“No one is happy with the $600 plus-up,” Kudlow said, referring to the $600 added to unemployment benefits, which is set to expire next month. Some conservatives have said the amount is too high.
Kudlow added that “we’re looking very carefully” at a type of return-to-work bonus or credit for workers.
The U.S. economy ended its longest expansion in history in February and entered recession as a result of the pandemic, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private group that determines U.S. business cycles.
Stay-home orders in almost every state led tens of millions of people to file for unemployment benefits while the stock market tumbled and small businesses folded up shop. The U.S. Congress passed multi-trillion dollar packages to help individuals and corporations as well as fight the spread of the disease.
Reporting by Lisa Lambert, Doina Chiacu and Jeff Mason; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang