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Philadelphia — Patrick T. Harker, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, told a virtual audience today that a combination of increased vaccinations, falling COVID-19 case rates, and a strong shot of fiscal stimulus should stoke economic growth in 2021. Harker, addressing the CFA Society Philadelphia, forecast national GDP growth of 7 percent for the year.

Harker cautioned that the recovery in the labor force has so far not kept pace with the growth in GDP. He cited several factors including safety concerns and a lack of childcare options. He also noted that many mothers have dropped out of the labor force during the pandemic and warned that a significant amount of human capital remains untapped.