Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said he doesn’t think the next few months will be necessarily easy on the economy in spite of the recent uplifting news regarding a possible COVID-19 vaccine, CNBC reported.
Rosengren, speaking with CNBC’s Joumanna Bercetche during the UBS European Conference, said he thought the news of Pfizer and BioNTech‘s 90 percent effective vaccine, announced on Monday (Nov. 9), wasn’t quite a silver bullet.
“While it’s very good news about the vaccine, and the effectiveness of the vaccine looks to be much higher than people anticipated, it’s still going to be quite difficult to distribute it widely and there’s still an open question of how many people will voluntarily get vaccinated,” he said, according to CNBC.
He said it is “certainly good news” but that the next six months would likely still be “pretty choppy.” Rosengren’s projection is that the vaccine would likely be widely distributed by late 2021, and that the economy would have “robust growth.”
In terms of the economy, Rosengren said he thinks the outcome will come down to whatever stimulus measures are eventually passed by the government. The outlook on that has become foggier with the win of President-elect Joe Biden in the recent election and the other ensuing controversies around that election. He said the amount of fiscal help needed would at least partially depend on how quickly a vaccine can be widely distributed, CNBC reported.
The news of the vaccine caused a positive uproar in the stock markets, with stocks in dine-in restaurants surging. Brinker International, which operates or franchises around 1,600 Chili’s Grill and Bar locations, saw its shares up 15 percent on Monday. Darden Restaurants was up 18 percent, alongside shares for Texas Roadhouse, Ruth’s Chris Hospitality Group and Cracker Barrel, among others, seeing jumps of around 15 to 35 percent on Monday.
However, the economy and peoples’ habits will likely not return to pre-pandemic norms for some time, with the vaccine being the primary component necessary for that return.