Federal Reserve officials said they don't think the economy is coming back in full until the pandemic is contained, Reuters reported.
Instead, U.S. citizens will likely have to learn to "live with" the virus for now, according to the report.
Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, said in an online event with the South Shore Chamber of Commerce in Massachusetts that the lagging economic performance of the last few months will likely continue for the foreseeable future while people cut back on spending time in highly public areas to avoid the virus, Reuters reported. He said the lack of a vaccine for the time being means many businesses will have to adapt to the current climate.
Rosengren's predictions are in-line with PYMNTS research showing that a majority of people surveyed are uncomfortable rejoining public life while there's still no vaccine. The number of people who said they wouldn't return to pre-pandemic lifestyles before a vaccine is available rose the longer the pandemic went on — from 39.7 percent on March 17 to 48.8 percent by April 11.
Robert Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, spoke to participants of a Lubbock Chamber of Commerce online event in which he said Americans would have to continue wearing masks to keep the economy open as the virus is not dying down, Reuters reported.
He said the unemployment rate is likely to be at around 9 percent by the year's end, although he added that it could be lower if the virus is contained by local officials.
“If we don’t follow that, while people may feel freer, the economy will grow slower,” Kaplan said, according to Reuters.
Rosengren said the parts of the country that had been shut down for longer are now doing better overall, with more spending. On the other hand, the states that lifted the restrictions too early saw early spurts of higher spending that fell after infections began to spike again.