Could the Financial Impacts of COVID-19 Last Until Late 2021?

Eldis Sula
May 18, 2020 - 12:51 pm

The economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are being felt all over the country.

With more than 36 million unemployment claims in the U.S., according to the latest numbers from the Labor Department, many, including the country’s top financial officials, are speculating how long the downturn will last.

In an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, conjectured on how long it would take the U.S. economy to recover from the impacts of the outbreak, saying that the effects could “stretch” well into 2021.

“This economy will recover,” Powell said. “It may take a while. It may take a period of time. It could stretch through the end of next year. We really don't know."

However, Powell said he broadly holds a positive outlook, feeling confident in the ability of the economy to rebound.

“Well, I would take a more optimistic cut at that, if I could," Powell said when asked what economic reality the American people need to be prepared for. "And that is — this is a time of great suffering and difficulty. And it's come on us so quickly and with such force, that you really can't put into words the pain people are feeling and the uncertainty they're realizing. And it's going to take a while for us to get back. But I would just say this. In the long run, and even in the medium run, you wouldn't want to bet against the American economy.”

Powell also shared his thoughts on whether the economy could recover at all without a vaccine.

"Assuming there's not a second wave of the coronavirus, I think you'll see the economy recover steadily through the second half of this year," Powell said. "So, for the economy to fully recover, people will have to be fully confident. And that may have to await the arrival of a vaccine."

On Friday, the House of Representatives narrowly passed the HEROES Act, a second coronavirus relief bill worth $3 trillion in aid, in a final vote of 208 - 199.

The bill now moves to the Senate, where it must pass a vote before it can be sent to the desk of President Donald Trump to be signed into law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has voiced strong opposition to the bill. Republicans hold a majority in the Senate and have been put off by the size of the bill, declaring it "dead on arrival."

The extensive 1,800 page bill would offer a second round of checks to the tune of $1,200 per person, and up to $6,000 per family.

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