The head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston indicated on Wednesday (Feb. 17) that he continues to anticipate that the economy with gain momentum in the second half of 2021, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“We’re still at that point where the infection and vaccinations are really determining how quickly the economy snaps back,” Eric Rosengren said in a digital appearance, according to the news outlet. He also noted that “a few more months where the pandemic is really going to be the dominant force” are likely to be ahead.
For the most part, Federal Reserve leaders are of the opinion that the economy will gain momentum as inoculations roll out. These officials have yet to show that they intend to pull back on aid in the near future, provided continuing softness in the job market and the probability that it will be awhile before inflation meets and exceeds the 2 percent aim of the Fed.
As it stands, Rosengren does not serve as a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The Federal Reserve has an almost zero rate target for the short haul and reportedly intends to maintain it at that level for many years in the future as an ongoing bond buying effort designed to maintain low long-term borrowing costs takes place.
The news comes as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently said she anticipates that U.S. employment will go back to pre-pandemic levels at some point next year. During a televised interview on CNN, the official said recovery would be sluggish in the absence of a large relief package.
Separately, retail sales increased in January by 5.3 percent on the wings of long-delayed action by Congress, which approved a $900 billion pandemic stimulus package.
The rise in retail sales from December came after three straight months of falling sales during last year’s holiday shopping season.