FILE PHOTO: White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow speaks in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy still appears headed for a “V-shaped recovery” despite some setbacks in efforts to reopen state economies that had been shuttered for the coronavirus, a top White House adviser said on Monday.
“At the moment, the story looks very good. We’re set for a V-shaped recovery,” National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told CNBC. “Might it change? Yes, it might and we’ll be looking very, very carefully at this.”
A surge in confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in a number of Sun Belt states has led a number of them to backtrack on measures to reopen their shuttered economies.
That, in turn, has raised questions about how quickly the national economy might bounce back from its deep coronavirus-related dive.
Kudlow said the administration’s main goal was to encourage more hiring, adding that it would likely get behind an effort to put in place a re-employment bonus as Congress considers a further round of coronavirus relief.
That would be in lieu of renewing a $600 supplement to weekly jobless benefits approved by lawmakers in an earlier relief bill. Those supplemental payments are due to end at the end of July.
“Our main goal, hopefully, is to get people to get re-employed,” Kudlow said. “We want to give them, perhaps, a boost, a benefit for re-employment and we want them to come back to work.”
He said there were numerous anecdotal reports suggesting businesses would find it difficult to attract the workers they need if Congress renewed the supplemental benefits.
He cautioned, however, that the administration had not made a final decision on its position.
Reporting by Tim Ahmann, Eric Beech and Tom Brown