(Bloomberg) --

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard predicted the U.S. unemployment rate may hit 30% in the second quarter because of shutdowns to combat the coronavirus, with an unprecedented 50% drop in gross domestic product.

Bullard called for a powerful fiscal response to replace the $2.5 trillion in lost income that quarter to ensure a strong eventual U.S. recovery, adding the Fed would be poised to do more to ensure markets function during a period of high volatility.

“This is a planned, organized partial shutdown of the U.S. economy in the second quarter,” Bullard said in a phone interview Sunday from St. Louis. “The overall goal is to keep everyone, households and businesses, whole” with support from the government. “It is a huge shock and we are trying to cope with it and keep it under control.”

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