Mnuchin sees U.S. economic bottom in second quarter, 'gigantic increase' fourth quarter

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin answers questions during the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday he believes the U.S. economy will “bottom out” in the second quarter and start to improve with the third quarter, with a “gigantic increase” in fourth quarter activity.

“When you come off of a low number of closing down the economy, you’re going to have very, very big increases,” Mnuchin told an online conference organized by The Hill newspaper. So yes, I think you’re going to see a very large -- call it a gigantic -- increase in the fourth quarter.”

Reporting by David Lawder, Editing by Franklin Paul