Fed's Harker: Recovery plateauing, return to old levels 'will take some time'

(Reuters) - The U.S. economy will probably not regain pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels of employment until 2023, and recent signs that the recovery is plateauing suggests a return to baseline economic growth “will take some time,” Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker said on Tuesday.

“The virus itself, more than anything else, is determining the trajectory of the economy,” Harker said in prepared remarks delivered to a conference focused on whether the pandemic is accelerating adoption of automation and artificial intelligence.

Harker said his forecast hinges on success in containing the pandemic and rolling out an effective and “widely available” vaccine by the latter part of next year. It also assumes an additional $1 trillion of federal pandemic relief, “which has yet to materialize.”

Reporting By Dan Burns; Editing by Andrea Ricci