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U.S. securities industry economists see the deepest recession on record in the cards, but not a move to negative interest rates, according to the latest survey from the U.S. Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).

The industry trade group’s biannual survey of chief economists at 26 major financial institutions found the median GDP forecast is for a 5.5% drop in output this year.

The U.S. economy is expected to rebound next year, generating a 4.7% rise in GDP.

More than three quarters (77%) of economists surveyed said that they see the U.S. long-term potential GDP growth rate as between 1.5% and 2%. Over half (55%) said this has not changed from pre-Covid-19 projections.

“Covid-19 has had devastating effects on the U.S. and global economies,” said Ellen Zentner, managing director and chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley, and chair of SIFMA’s Economic Advisory Roundtable.

“The roundtable expects recovery to pre Covid-19 GDP growth levels by the end of 2022 and does not expect the U.S. to enter negative interest rate territory,” she noted.

Indeed, economists were unanimous in declaring the U.S. will not see negative interest rates.

However, SIFMA reported that 86% don’t see rates beginning to normalize until after 2021.

SIFMA said that 78% of respondents expect the U.S. Federal Reserve Board to adopt yield curve caps (YCC) to boost the economy when short-term rates hit zero.

“When gauging risks to the outlook, it is of no surprise that the pandemic and business confidence appeared among the top risks – both to the up and downside,” Zentner said.

As for the forthcoming U.S. elections, 82% expect to see a divided government with Republicans leading the Senate, and Democrats controlling the House.

The other 18% expect the Democrats to sweep both houses of Congress.