COVID-19's Impact on the Regional Economy

February 17, 2021

Keynote Presentation by Charles Gascon

Presentation slides (PDF)

What’s in store for 2021, as we consider COVID-19’s impact on nearly every aspect of the economy in 2020? Have any trends or themes emerged that may point to how the pandemic will continue to affect the St. Louis regional economy in the future? Are we poised to return to old growth trends in the region—or are signs pointing to change?

In this recorded Zoom presentation, economist Charles Gascon of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis discusses COVID-19's impact on the St. Louis regional economy, and shares his research on the global pandemic and its nationwide impact.

  • (0:00) Introduction by Shera Dalin, media coordinator at the St. Louis Fed
  • (1:33) Chuck Gascon presents “A Light at the End of the Tunnel and the Road Ahead”
  • (2:18) Presentation overview:

1. How did the economy get here?

2. What is the current economic situation?

3. Where is the economy headed this year? In the next five years?

  • (5:27) 1. How did the economy get here?
    • (6:12) A prolonged financial crisis was averted
    • (7:17) Fiscal stimulus more than offset lost income
    • (8:29) Consumer spending on goods is up sharply
    • (10:04) Pandemic effect versus government shutdowns
  • (13:03) 2. What is the current economic situation?
    • (13:47) A quick rebound
    • (15:47) A long way to go
    • (18:03) Where you work matters more than where you are
    • (22:33) Racial disparities in unemployment mirror national trends
  • (23:41) 3. Where is the economy headed this year?
    • (27:00) Upside risks
    • (28:28) Downside risks
    • (29:57) Where is the economy headed in the next five years?
  • (31:31) What does telework mean for cities?
  • (35:25) Don’t lose sight of the trend during the cycle
  • (36:35) Slower labor force growth on the horizon
  • (37:32) Will St. Louis regain all jobs from the pandemic?
  • (38:50) Strategies for slow growth environment
  • (42:16) Key takeaways
  • (44:16) Difficult decisions ahead
  • (45:17) References
  • (45:47) Q&A

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This popular lecture series addresses key issues and provides the opportunity to ask questions of Fed experts. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the St. Louis Fed or Federal Reserve System.

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