Richmond Federal Reserve president weighs in on economic recovery

Richmond Federal Reserve president weighs in on economic recovery
Roanoke, Virginia skyline. (Source: WDBJ)

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - What will it take for the economy to recover?

On Thursday, the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond shared his opinion with members of the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce.

I would say critically the course of the economy still depends very much on the course of the virus.”

Tom Barkin still has more questions than answers, about the continuing impact of COVID-19.

“Is it going to recede over time, or are there going to be future waves of infection that will overwhelm the economy? Will public health authorities resume their restraints or not? Will a vaccine be effective and widespread?” Barkin asked.

A sustainable recovery, Barkin told members of the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, starts with aggressive and consistent workplace health protection protocols.

“I really believe defining those standards and ensuring they are broadly followed on a consistent basis, right, is actually the best stimulus of all,” Barkin said, “because it will convince people to come back to work. It will convince people to shop. And they can do so with confidence.”

And the good news, Barkin said, is if we can get people back to work and back to shopping again, the amount of stimulus already deployed, could in his words, “really unleash things.”

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