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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

FOMC Minutes: "Concerned about the possibility of a further resurgence of the virus that could undermine the recovery"

by Calculated Risk on 11/25/2020 02:05:00 PM

From the Fed: Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee, November 4-5, 2020. A few excerpts:

Participants continued to see the uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook as quite elevated, with the path of the economy highly dependent on the course of the virus; on how individuals, businesses, and public officials responded to it; and on the effectiveness of public health measures to address it. Participants cited several downside risks that could threaten the recovery. While another broad economic shutdown was seen as unlikely, participants remained concerned about the possibility of a further resurgence of the virus that could undermine the recovery. The majority of participants also saw the risk that current and expected fiscal support for households, businesses, and state and local governments might not be sufficient to sustain activity levels in those sectors, while a few participants noted that additional fiscal stimulus that was larger than anticipated could be an upside risk. Some participants commented that the recent surge in virus cases in Europe and the reimposition of restrictions there could lead to a slowdown in economic activity in the euro area and have negative spillover effects on the U.S. recovery. Some participants raised concerns regarding the longer-run effects of the pandemic, including sectoral restructurings that could slow employment growth or an acceleration of technological disruptions that could be limiting the pricing power of some firms.
emphasis added