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Mnuchin expects large Q2 unemployment, negative economic data

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US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday that he is continuing to see large unemployment numbers and other negative economic indicators during the second quarter, but the situation is expected to improve as the US economy starts to reopen.

[WASHINGTON] US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday that he is continuing to see large unemployment numbers and other negative economic indicators during the second quarter, but the situation is expected to improve as the US economy starts to reopen.

"Working closely with governors, we are beginning to open the economy in a way that minimises risks to workers and customers," Mr Mnuchin said in written testimony to the Senate Banking Committee. "We expect economic conditions to improve in the third and fourth quarters."

Mr Mnuchin however warned the economy risks suffering "permanent damage" the longer the lockdown to contain the Covid-19 pandemic drags on.

He said the government is willing to take risks with the funds it has put up to help the economy withstand the unprecedented hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

REUTERS, AFP

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