(Image: Anthony Behar/Sipa USA)

While success in suppressing new infections here has prompted talk of lifting economically crippling lockdown restrictions sooner rather than later, it's now clear that the US economy is being smashed, in a way that will slow the entire global economy for some time to come.

Successive weeks of astonishing levels of unemployment claims has illustrated how the US jobs market has collapsed under the weight of lockdown and tens of thousands of deaths.

Now further data overnight has revealed the cost of the pandemic: a record 8.7% slump in retail sales across the US in March (that's worth US$46 billion) and a 5.4% slide in industrial production -- the biggest fall since 1946, when the US was winding down wartime production.