Robert Kaplan, president of the US Federal Reserve from Dallas, said US economic growth would accelerate next year as the country recovers from the coronavirus crisis.
"In '21 we will see growth above trend and further reduce the unemployment rate," Kaplan said in CNBC's Closing Bell on Tuesday. "I still think if we followed these protocols we would see a recovery from the deep hole we dug in the second quarter.
"The question is, when will you get to a normalized economy, and it will depend on the path of the virus and how well we handle it and when the vaccine will be used," added Kaplan. "I am optimistic that we will work through it. But it would be much cheaper if we managed the virus well."
The Fed president said that the most important thing for the economy now is to wear face shields. There have been new cases and hospitalizations in many U.S. states in recent weeks as the economy opened up again.
Kaplan said the economy will see a 4.5% or 5% decline this year as the coronavirus caused unprecedented disruption.
To support the tumbling economy, the Fed has implemented emergency programs that could provide trillions of dollars in liquidity and lending while lowering its key interest rates to zero. When asked if the central bank could do more for the economy, Kaplan said it still had significant capacity, but the country's priority right now was to stop the virus from spreading.
"If we do an excellent job and manage the virus better, we don't have to do as much. It would be better for the country if we didn't have to," said Kaplan.
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