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Economic professor describes what COVID-19 recovery will look like

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – It’s back to business for stores, restaurants and other retailers looking to rebound from COVID-19.

Getting back to economic levels before the pandemic will take some time, says St. Mary’s economic professor, Jack Rasmus.

“It will be a very slow recovery. Businesses will open because they’re desperate to do so,” Rasmus said. 

He says people should be prepared for several ebbs and flows.

With millions of Americans still out of work, some industries like retail, and travel could feel the impact for a long time.

“People aren’t going to jump on airplanes to any great extent and fly around and go on vacations and go to theme parks,” Rasmus said. 

Rasmus says getting the economy back on track depends on one thing.

“The only thing that can really push the economy is the consumer who is 70 percent of the economy,” Rasmus said. 

He says Congress needs to do more to generate consumer confidence.

With an extra $600 in unemployment benefits set to run out of work Americans at the end of July, along with an expected second wave.

Rasmus worries that it could be a recipe for a long term COVID hangover.

“Businesses and consumers are going to wait and see what happens,” Rasmus said. “They’re very uncertain about the future and when businesses are uncertain they don’t invest, and when consumers are uncertain, they don’t buy cars, and they don’t do a lot of big spending.”

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