Gross domestic product is the broadest measure of everything produced by U.S. workers, private capital and the government. In 2019 that came to about $19.2 trillion adjusted for inflation. In 2020, that number has fallen enormously because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the largest drop in history during the second quarter.
Three large aspects of the economy are particularly reflective of the pandemic’s impact. Overall consumer spending has suffered with millions of people out of work, government spending has soared because of the CARES act and business investment has languished with companies so unsure of the future.
Consumer spending has historically been the driving force behind GDP, accounting for roughly two thirds of the total. The pandemic has had a big effect on how consumers spend their money. Spending on goods has remained relatively buoyant as people stocked up on food and other essentials, while stay-at-home orders and restaurant and bar shutdowns hit the service sector quite hard.