Fed’s Bostic Cautions That U.S. Economic Recovery Is Very Uneven

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Some parts of the are coming back strongly while others are still struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic, said Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic.

“In some segments the economy is recovering and rebounding in a very robust way,” Bostic said Sunday in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“But in other segments, things like hotels and restaurants, small businesses, particularly in minority and lower-income communities, those places are seeing much more difficult situations.”

Bostic will be a voting member of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee in 2021. The FOMC will meet two more times in 2020.

The U.S. economy’s rebound from the steep pandemic-driven downturn is threatened by a new acceleration in coronavirus infections and the failure by Congress to agree on a fresh stimulus package, developments that appear to be weighing on an already-slowing labor market recovery.

“Whatever people are experiencing, there are a lot of other Americans out there who are struggling and are on the edge,” Bostic said.

The first Black regional Fed president in the U.S. central bank’s history, Bostic is viewed by some as a potential candidate to serve in a Joe Biden administration if the Democrat defeats President Donald Trump in November.

Biden’s economic team has highlighted the importance of improving diversity at the Fed and of devoting greater resources to researching racial inequality.

Bostic, who served in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2012 as an assistant secretary for policy development and research at the Department for Housing and Urban Development, deflected a question on whether he’d be interested in becoming a future Fed chair or Treasury secretary.

“There is so much going on right now that I am not thinking about that. I’ve got a pandemic. I’ve got an economic crisis. And I’ve got my own bank to worry about in terms of the policies that we’re doing,” he said. “So I’ll let things play out as they will and we’ll just see how that goes.”

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