Fed's Harker says U.S. economy is improving but still freighted with risks

FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen on a shipping dock, as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in the Port of Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 16, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

(Reuters) - The U.S. economy is improving and better off than it was a year ago, but it is still dealing with risks and challenges as some businesses struggle to hire workers, Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker said Friday.

“The economy is improving, yes, but still freighted with risks and constraints,” Harker said in remarks prepared for a virtual event organized by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.

Many businesses saw sales rise last year and expect that growth to continue, Harker said, citing a survey by the chamber. But some firms are also facing higher costs as they struggle to hire and retain employees, he said in remarks that did not comment on monetary policy.

“Going forward, employers are going to have to think creatively about how to attract and retain talent,” he said.

Reporting by Jonnelle Marte