One of the country's most influential economic officials doesn't anticipate that surging coronavirus cases will knock the reopening recovery off course.
- "There has tended to be less economic implications from each [coronavirus] wave. We'll see if that's the case for the Delta variety," Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters today.
Why it matters: The Fed's early link between the economy's fate and the virus appears to be weakening.
- "Many people are vaccinated and going on with their lives," Powell said, saying the economy is learning to live with the virus.
Yes, but: Powell did hedge, noting that "it's easy to imagine" that some people hold off returning to work because of the virus.
- And the latest Fed statement (which investors obsess over) still reads: "The path of the economy continues to depend on the course of the virus" — although it no longer includes the word "significantly" as a qualifier.
The backdrop: CEOs have been using the "u" word — uncertainty — in response to questions about rising case counts.
- But those worries aren't enough to pare back how much money they plan to make this year. It's a familiar theme playing out across much of corporate America.
The latest example ... McDonald's.
- "There is still some uncertainty as we continue to see pandemic-related stops and starts in markets around the world, especially now with the Delta variant," McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski said Wednesday.
- Still, McDonald's has bigger expectations for 2021 sales now than it did three months ago.
What to watch: Some employers are already reconsidering office reopening plans.
- Google todaypostponed its back-to-the-office deadline until October (from Sept. 1). Along with Facebook, it's also mandating that all in-office workers be vaccinated.
Go deeper: Fed acknowledges economic progress, maintains supportive policy