Economic Alphabet Soup: Are We In A V-Shaped or K-Shaped Recovery?

Published: Monday, November 2, 2020 - 10:39am

President Donald Trump has described the country’s economic recovery as V-shaped — there was a sudden downward spike that is now shooting upwards. Vice President Joe Biden has called it a K-shape. But what does that all mean? 

Well, it all comes down to how you were impacted by the coronavirus. But first, context. Take the Great Recession:

"2008 was more like a prolonged U. The been there for a long time or started out like an L. And then it finally came back up," said Dennis Hoffman from ASU’s WP Carey School of Business. He says the current economy is being described as a K-shaped economic recovery.

"Because some of us are V-shaped. But so many are the bottom of the K, and they're just headed down," he said. 

Either because their job doesn’t exist anymore or they can’t find employment. "That there's gonna be a number of people facing tough times for a long period of time," Hoffman said. 

Especially for those, he says, in the entertainment and hospitality industries.