As the coronavirus spread beyond China last spring, forecasters abruptly added two percentage points to their growth predictions for 2021. It was as if they had turned into a chorus of red-headed Orphan Annies singing, “I love ya, tomorrow.”
Their upgrades didn’t signify optimism, though. They were a consequence of the downturn the forecasters were expecting for 2020. With a deep recession as the new baseline, the partial rebound they anticipated would represent a big year-over-year percentage increase in output.