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Contact: Daneil Mazone, Manager, Media Relations, 215-574-7163

Philadelphia, PA — Patrick T. Harker, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, told an audience at the Center City Proprietors Association that the path of the U.S. economy for the rest of the year depends largely on developments involving COVID-19. “Despite the enormous sacrifices made by tens of millions of Americans, the country has still failed to control the virus,” he observed. Harker addressed the audience virtually.

Based on an average of forecasts, Harker projected an approximately negative 20 percent real GDP growth in the first half of this year followed by a 13 percent growth in the second half. Full-year growth would end up at around negative 6 percent, he said. But Harker added the caveat that the projections are “constantly changing along with the path of the virus.”

Harker said he hoped that the next period of economic growth would be “strong and more inclusive than the last.” He suggested actions to improve small businesses’ relationships with the banking sector and pointed to recent Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia research finding that “nearly half of lower-wage employment can be paired with at least one higher-paying occupation requiring similar skills.” 

Read the speech.