April 15- The U.S. economy still has a long way to go to fully recover from the Coronavirus pandemic, which hit minorities and people with lower education levels the hardest, but the outlook is improving, said Loretta Mester, president of the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank on Thursday.
While the economy is still far from our policy goals of maximum employment and price stability, progress is being made and the economic outlook is brightening, Mester said in a virtual event with students from Swarthmore College.
On the inflation front, the Fed official said that price readings could be low in the near term as companies face supply chain disruptions and prices rebound from lows attained early in the pandemic, but price growth is likely to slow as time passes and those challenges are resolved.
I 'm not too worried about inflation moving at this point, said Mester.
The U.S. economy could see strong growth in the second half of the year and labor market conditions should continue to improve as long as there is not a surge in infections of virus strains that are resistant to vaccines, Mester told reporters after the event.
The policymaker expects the economy to drop 6% or more this year and the unemployment rate to increase by year-end to 4.5% or lower.
Vaccinations, which make it safer for people to return to work, will be an important part of recovery, she said. Parents who stopped working because their children are at home will need schools to reopen and access to childcare so they can return to the workforce, Mester added. Here ’ s my opinion on wil be!