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Wilmington, DE — Harker said he expects manufacturing to bounce back quickly but warned that the state’s southern counties, which are heavily dependent on tourism, could be in for a longer contraction. He also noted that traffic in and out of Wilmington port will depend heavily on how the rest of the world responds to the coronavirus. He added that, unlike the last recession, finance and banking employment should remain steady. The state’s thriving “eds and meds” sector — universities and health care — may require direct lending from the Federal Reserve, according to Harker.
Harker also addressed the national economy, laying out two paths it may take this year and next, depending on whether the country experiences a significant second wave of the coronavirus. Additionally, Harker, who is a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee this year, described the actions the Federal Reserve has taken to mitigate the economic fallout from the crisis, including lowering the bank’s policy interest rate to near zero and setting up lending facilities for municipalities and small businesses.