BY ANN SAPHIR
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Federal Reserve policymakers are optimistic about the U.S. economic outlook as more Americans are vaccinated and government aid gets to households and businesses, and they are not going to stand in its way.
Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin compared the pandemic economy to a roller-coaster pausing just before a thrilling high-speed plunge.
“The final stretch should absolutely be something, as excess savings and fiscal stimulus fund pent-up demand from consumers who are exhausted from isolation and who will be freed by vaccines and warmer weather,” he told the Montgomery County Chamber of Congress in Maryland on Tuesday.
“We could see a burst of activity and performance coming into the summer which could lead us to see even more robust recovery,” Bostic told the Atlanta World Affairs Council. “A million jobs a month could become the standard through the summer.”
Economists expect a government report due on Friday to show 650,000 jobs added this month.
New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams said earlier in the day that he too is “optimistic” about the overall economy.
“We’re making great strides on the vaccination program,” he told a virtual event organized by the New York Fed and AARP about small businesses. “I think we have a lot of positives going forward.”
KEEPING RATES LOW
All that optimism at the U.S. central bank might, in years past, have signaled that policymakers would soon be ready to raise interest rates.