Barkin: No 'huge drop' yet in real time measures of economy

FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin poses during a break at a Dallas Fed conference on technology in Dallas, Texas, U.S., May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Ann Saphir/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. recovery is facing near term risks from the surging number of coronavirus cases and the end of unemployment benefits for many workers, but there are better medium term prospects with a vaccine on the horizon, Richmond Federal Reserve bank president Thomas Barkin said on Monday.

“Lets see what happens,” Barkin said when asked if the Fed needed to step in with more monetary stimulus, perhaps by changing its bond purchase program. “The virus is definitely escalating,” he said in webcast remarks to the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, but “it is hard to find a huge drop” in real time measures of consumer spending and other data.

Reporting by Howard Schneider