The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the economy will shrink by 3.7% this year — a rosier outlook than the 6.5% contraction initially projected in June.
Why it matters: The economy is still wrecked by the coronavirus pandemic, but it has rebounded faster than some anticipated. Signs still suggest the recovery could stall out. The August unemployment rate is already lower than where the Fed, in June, said it would be by year-end.
The latest real-time Fed estimates of U.S. GDP from the New York and Atlanta Fed “nowcasting” models both show the economy’s momentum has slowed over the summer, but diverge widely.
By the numbers: The Atlanta Fed’s model has jumped thanks largely to better-than-expected readings on Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing and services sector and government GDP and employment data.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) face rising odds in their high-profile re-election bids, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday.
Why it matters: Many thought Graham’s Senate race was a long shot for Democrats, and the moderate Collins has served as a pivotal Republican swing vote on a number of key issues during the Trump presidency.
Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Michael Caputo is taking a 60 day leave of absence “to focus on his health and the well-being of his family,” the agency said in a statement on Wednesday.
Driving the news: Caputo baselessly accused career scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a Facebook livestream on Sunday of gathering a “resistance unit” for “sedition” against President Trump, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. He apologized to staff on Tuesday, according to Politico.