M.S. in Applied Economics (MSAE) Program Director, Aleksandar Tomic, moderated two leading economists in a panel discussion on February 25, 2021, to discuss where we’ve been – reviewing the impact the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 – and what to expect in the upcoming year of 2021.
The webinar was moderated by Aleksandar (Sasha) Tomic, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Strategy, Innovation & Technology and Director of the MSAE program. Joining Dr. Tomic were Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director, Economics & Global Research Chair at The Conference Board, and Jose Fillat, Senior Economist and Policy Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, MSAE Program Professor and Advisory Board Member.
It’s no secret that economists, analysts and everyone else across the globe spent 2020 trying to predict the unpredictable. The webinar’s focus was to answer the many questions that remain from 2020 and discuss what to expect in 2021.
Here are a few takeaways shared during the event:
“There is a lot of uncertainty right now. There is uncertainty on where the virus is going with these new strains that are appearing. There is also uncertainty on where the fiscal support will go. The Fed is on standby right now, waiting for Congress to move on and start putting in place a new fiscal package. That will determine what, if anything, how the Fed will continue to support everything from the lending markets to the real economy.” – Jose Fillat, Senior Economist and Policy Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
“If you look at the data for last year, you can clearly see the square roots. So, it’s kind of a partial recovery from the deep V, and then it flattens out, but that is the past. Now looking ahead, it has the potential to turn into more of that swoosh. I think that it is too soon to expect potential at a long-term sustainable level. It depends on if we can get back to that level by the middle of this year if growth accelerates faster. There needs to be a much more universal availability of vaccines, and the variance mutations of the virus cannot cause unexpected problems. This only gets us back to where we were before the pandemic, and that is not necessarily potential.” – Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director, Economics & Global Research Chair at The Conference Board
Learn more about what to expect in the coming year by viewing the full panel discussion above. If the video does not play in the player below, please click here.