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Philadelphia — Patrick T. Harker, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, told a virtual audience at the Wharton Private Equity and Venture Capital Alumni Association that he expects moderate economic growth for the rest of this year and the first half of 2021. With the introduction of a widely available and effective vaccine for COVID-19, he predicts robust growth through the second half of 2021 and through 2022. Harker observed that the U.S. economy has largely tracked the spread of the virus.
Harker, this year a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, also suggested that the Federal Reserve’s lending facilities continue into next year. Although they were not always “tapped as often as we may have expected at the outset, their mere existence was useful in getting private markets flowing,” he said, citing an announcement effect. “At this point, the fewer changes we make to the lending facilities, the better,” he said.