As US emerges from coronavirus pandemic, economy will see 'little interruptions,' Ross says

Ross's comments come one day after the nation set a record high of nearly 40,000 new virus cases

As the U.S. begins to gradually recover from the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdown, it's "natural" the country will see interruptions in economic activity, according to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

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"It's natural that there will be some little interruptions as we come back out of the pandemic," Ross told FOX Business' Stuart Varney on Friday. "But the key thing, in my view, is consumer spending will continue to lead the recovery."

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Ross's comments come one day after the nation set a record high of nearly 40,000 new virus cases. Several states notched daily highs, including Alabama, Texas, Idaho and Nevada.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott hit pause Thursday on the state's reopening plans, and on Friday, he ordered all bars in the state to close and scaling back restaurant capacity by 50 percent.

“At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars," Abbott, a Republican, said in a news release. "The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health."

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The sudden resurgence in COVID-19 cases has rattled the markets, threatening to derail the nation's slow, but steady, recovery from the pandemic. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 2.25 percent, while the S&P 500 dropped 1.81 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 2.02 percent, turning negative for the week.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 35719.43 +492.40 +1.40%
SP500 S&P 500 4686.75 +95.08 +2.07%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15686.916193 +461.76 +3.03%

The U.S. accounts for more than one-quarter of the more than 9.6 million coronavirus cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

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Still, despite the spikes in cases, Ross maintained the economy will still see a strong rebound from the lockdown, which has dragged the nation into the worst downturn since the Great Depression. In the span of two months, the unemployment rate surged from a 50-year low to an 80-year high; economists are warning of an unprecedented contraction in the second quarter.

"Remember, while those states are lagging a little bit behind what they had hoped to accomplish, there are others that are opening up more rapidly, and you're getting the cumulative effect," Ross said. "Maybe at most there will be a little slippage from Q3 to Q4, but at the end of the day, the important thing is the direction is a good direction. The direction is a strong, upward direction. And that's what really matters."

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