The message of the annual Outlook on the Economy presentation on May 18, 2021, was that the regional economy has shown signs of improvement now that COVID cases are down and vaccinations are on the rise.
Jason Bram, a research officer with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, was the guest speaker during the Zoom forum. “This downturn that has been declared a recession is much more like a natural disaster,” he said. Bram explained that in a recession the recovery is very gradual. However, he hopes the economy will turn around quickly following COVID, as it usually does following an earthquake or hurricane.
Bram noted that consumer spending is up, the service sector is improving, and home prices have increased, except in Manhattan. Inflation, however, is an area of concern.
Bram’s research focuses on the U.S. economy, with a primary emphasis on the Federal Reserve’s Second District, which includes New York State, northern New Jersey, and southwestern Connecticut, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.