Here’s the biggest unknown about the economy right now: Just how much will the loss of federal coronavirus aid for families and businesses stunt a recovery that already has lost steam.
Democrats and Republicans ceased negotiations in early August and Congress adjourned after the two parties failed to break a deadlock on the next financial-relief package.
The impasse resulted in the expiration of a $600 federal benefit each week for tens of millions of jobless Americans as well as massive subsidies for thousands of companies struggling to survive.
With both party conventions under way ahead of the November elections, neither seems in a rush to strike a deal even as the coronavirus keeps spreading and mass unemployment casts a huge shadow over the economy.
The latest increase in weekly jobless benefit claims, a proxy for layoffs, raised the possibility that companies could lay off more workers or decline to bring