US economy in recession but seeing 'signs of life': Fed's Esther George

Fed officials are depending on the medical professionals for guidance on reopening local economies

Kansas City Federal Reserve President Esther George says the U.S. economy is in a recession now, but we may not have a double-dip downturn.

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“I think my forecast is the economy will continue to grow, given the right supports. And so that's what I'm looking forward to,” she said in an interview with FOX Business.

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George sees a rebound after a historic drop in GDP growth in the second quarter of an estimated 32.9%, as forecasted by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. She sees unemployment getting into high single digits by the end of the year after hitting 10.2% in July.

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George, who is hosting the 44th annual Jackson Hole Symposium for the Federal Reserve, is overseeing the annual event, which will be held virtually instead of at the scenic Jackson Lake Lodge in Wyoming due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Kansas City Fed president also offered a cautiously optimistic take on some of the data points she is monitoring.

“I think for now, what we are seeing is signs of life," she said. "We are beginning to see the economy come back online. But, of course, that's tentative at this stage. And so we're going to need more time. And importantly, we're going to need to know really the path of the virus and resolution to that before we can really make firm assessments about where the economy is headed.”

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George also emphasized relying on the “medical professionals” to determine whether local economies should reopen and at what pace.

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