Washington, United States | AFP | The US economy is showing “encouraging signs” and there’s no need for another spending package to combat the downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a White House advisor said on Monday.
“If the economy recovers slower than we expect, then it’s possible we’ll have to put some more cash in there and we stand ready to talk about that with Congress, but right now we think you should monitor the data,” economic advisor Kevin Hassett said on CNBC.
The world’s largest economy is showing “a lot of encouraging signs,” he said, citing data shared by private companies with President Donald Trump’s administration.
Congress has already moved to provide $2.9 trillion — or about 14 percent of US gross domestic product — in spending to households, businesses and states and local governments facing the virus.
On Friday, Democrats in the House of Representatives passed the largest-ever economic rescue package totaling $3 trillion, but it has few prospects in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Sunday the recovery from the downturn could stretch through the end of 2021, but Hassett said he disagreed with that estimate.
Data from companies showed foot traffic at stores rebounding, he said, predicting “a very strong fourth quarter and probably a great next year.”
However, Hassett said states that are dependent on travel and leisure for employment, like Hawaii, where about 33 percent of workers have filed for unemployment benefits, “will be the states that continue to be hardest hit even when the economy gets going again.”