Economy

Economist: Greater push for COVID vaccine rollout will make for stronger economy

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While a lull in job creation and consumer confidence remains intact, some economists remain optimistic the coronavirus vaccine rollout will be encouraging news for the U.S. economy.

Cornerstone Macro chief economist Nancy Lazar explained how she’s convinced job reports will continue improving on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria” Wednesday.

Lazar predicts the unemployment rate could stabilize and dip below 5% by the end of 2021.

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NANCY LAZAR: But looking ahead, as you’ve highlighted, the news on the vaccine is very encouraging. The clear decline in the number of COVID cases. The consumer has a great balance sheet. That this is a lull before we see a real strong pickup in consumer spending as we get through this COVID crisis.

So near-term, maybe a little bit of a lull, but 7% consumer spending as we move in the back half of the year is a real possibility, potentially even stronger than that. And increasingly, it looks like some of the strength is going to continue into 2022.

You know, the delay in getting the vaccines rolled out, you have more and more pent-up demand that will not just help here in 2021, but also 2022. So the job outlook is going to get just even stronger … We’ve already seen Delta, for example, announce that they were going to bring back some pilots this summer. 

And so you have a whole other bucket of the economy, the COVID-hit industries that will help to support the job market as you go into the back half of the year. So the unemployment rate, maybe it’s stabilizing today, as you say, but by the end of the year, could the unemployment rate be back below 5%? Sure. Next year, could it be back below 4%? We think so.

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