Georgia reopening has been ‘a mixed bag,’ Atlanta Fed President Bostic says

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Georgia’s economy has taken some steps ahead, though there are still signs that a recovery is going to take some time, Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic told CNBC.

“I think the punchline here is that it’s very much a mixed bag,” the central bank official said Thursday on “Closing Bell.”

“Some places and some people are feeling like they’re very prepared to jump back into the economy and get back to where they were pre-crisis,” Bostic added. “But there are a lot of businesses where they’re not seeing the same kind of foot traffic they were before.”

That’s a consequence of people still having “large concerns about whether it’s safe to go out.”

Georgia was one of the first states to start relaxing social distancing guidelines enacted in response to the coronavirus pandemic. While the state has seen a continued move higher in cases over the past month, the most recent trend has been lower.

Bostic said he has two primary concerns: Whether the surge in joblessness over the past two months is temporary or more permanent, and the possibility of a second wave of the virus happening somewhere in the future that further curtails activity.

“If that happens repeatedly, then I think the recovery is going to struggle a bit,” he said.

Bostic added that the Fed is committed to using its tools to support the economy and said it’s possible more help will be needed.

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