Washington, April 13 : The path of US economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic could be a “long, hard road” instead of a “V-shaped” recovery, a senior US Federal Reserve official said.
“It’d be wonderful if some new therapy were developed in the next couple of months that people could have confidence to go back to work, that they could get treatment, then potentially we would have a V-shaped recovery,” Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
“Barring some healthcare miracle like that, it seems like we’re gonna have various phases of rolling flare-ups,” Kashkari said, with “different parts of the economy turning back on, maybe turning back off again.”
“This could be a long, hard road that we have ahead of us until we get to either an effective therapy or a vaccine. It’s hard for me to see a V-shaped recovery under that scenario,” he said, reported Xinhua news agency.
Kashkari suggested US policymakers should focus on an 18-month strategy for reopening the economy as the outbreak recedes and flares up again.
“I’m focusing on 18 months because we’re looking around the world. As they relax the economic controls, the virus flares back up again,” he said.
“I think we should all be focusing on an 18 month strategy for our healthcare system and our economy. If it ends up being shorter than that, that’s great. We should prepare for the worst-case scenario,” he added.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday that a partial reopening of the economy could possibly begin in May, but cautioned that there is potential for a second outbreak in the fall.
“There is always a possibility as we get into next fall and beginning of early winter that we can see a rebound,” Fauci told CNN’s “State of the Union”.
The United States reported more than 547,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the most in the world, with more than 21,000 deaths as of Sunday afternoon, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.