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Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Tom Barkin said Friday the economy is "at the brink of completing the recovery," citing strong growth, surging demand, "skyrocketing" confidence and assuming continued progress in fighting the pandemic.
The surprisingly weak April jobs report "would have been a strong month if we weren't in the middle of a downturn," he said. "But it's much weaker than this demand increase would have suggested, and I think we have a frictional challenge matching open jobs to surplus workers."
With "overwhelming" fiscal and monetary support, "the economy's actually come most of the way back," he told West Virginia Chamber. GDP is less than 1% below its 2019 peak and will likely return to its trend rate before the pandemic by the end of the year. "That's an incredibly fast recovery," he said.
Barkin votes on Fed policy this year.