The $900 billion coronavirus aid package that appears to be nearing passage in Congress will provide essential support for Americans and provide the US economy with a bridge through the Covid-19 crisis, San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Mary Daly said on Sunday.
“This support is unequivocally beneficial,” Daly said in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“If you think about where we started in March when Covid hit our shores and where we are now, it’s really remarkable that the economy has done so well,” she said.
“That speaks to the resiliency of the American people but of course to the significant support that the Federal Reserve and Congress have taken to ensure that the bridge through coronavirus, over coronavirus, is both strong enough and long enough to get Americans fully through this.”
Daly, who next year rotates into a voting position as a member of the Federal Open Market Committee, the central bank’s policy-setting panel, said the economy faces near-term challenges from the surge in Covid-19 cases, but she remains hopeful that it and the job market will bounce back after widespread inoculation is achieved.
“I am bullish on the job market once we get fully through coronavirus, but we’re not there yet,” Daly said. “So our future is bright but we’ve got some challenging months ahead of us as we continue to battle coronavirus.“
Last week the Fed, in its final meeting of 2020, promised to keep funneling cash into financial markets further into the future to fight the recession, even as policymakers’ outlook for next year improved following the initial rollout of a coronavirus vaccine.
Still, nearly 10 million Americans remain out of work, a little less than half of the 22 million who were made jobless in the spring when the pandemic began. Job growth, robust in the early months of the recovery, has slowed sharply in recent months, and a range of other indicators suggest the economy overall may be slowing again as the disease forces new restrictions on businesses and people once again limit their activity.