Huge coronavirus GDP collapse equals $17,000 per Southern California household

The historic, coronavirus-linked drop in the nation’s gross domestic product translates to economic destruction of $17,000 per Southern California household, according to one analysis.

The GDP math tracking the national and regional economy can be daunting to understand even without an unprecedented wallop from business shutdowns designed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

But with the help of StratoDem Analytics, the second quarter’s record-smashing GDP drop — a decline of 33% on an annualized basis  — can be put into simpler terms. Before coronavirus, the biggest drop was a 10% dip in 1958.

The data cruncher took this spring’s gigantic national losses and translated the trend into localized results based on the region’s historic business patterns and industry concentrations.

Start with the nation’s value of goods and services created, provided, bought and sold. StratoDem says this output fell by $1.7 trillion in the second quarter vs. the previous three months. That three-month dip is on par with Canada’s entire economic production for 2019.

The U.S. drop approximates an economic loss of roughly $13,500 per household, according to StratoDem. That’s less business done per family — not a personal loss of income, compensation or investments.

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Compare that decline with the four counties covered by the Southern California News Group where a total of $111 trillion of economic output was lost in the April to June period. That quarterly loss is roughly what Ecuador produced in 2019.

Or, you can see the region’s economic damage as being roughly $17,000 per household.

Why is SoCal’s per-household dip larger than the national average? “Primarily because that region generates higher-value economic activity than many other parts of the US,” says StratoDem analyst James Chung.

At the county level, according to StratoDem, losses for the springtime quarter:

• Los Angeles County: $68 billion lost or $18,900 per household. That three-month loss equals roughly what Bulgaria produced in all of 2019.

• Orange County: $25 billion of lost economic activity or $22,400 per household. Or a year’s output in Honduras.

• San Bernardino County: $9.3 billion lost or $13,400 per household. Or Rwanda.

• Riverside County: $8.7 billion lost or $10,600 per household. Or Haiti.

“The bright spot is that the region has decent level of economic diversification and didn’t get hit as hard as other regions that had heavier concentration of reliance on tourism and cyclical manufacturing,” Chung said.

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