Reopening in southern U.S. states seeing mixed results so far: Fed’s Bostic

FILE PHOTO: President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Raphael W. Bostic speaks at a European Financial Forum event in Dublin, Ireland February 13, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

May 7, 2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The gradual economic reopening of southern U.S. states has had a mixed result so far, Atlanta Federal Reserve bank president Raphael Bostic said on Thursday, with cellphone data showing no appreciable growth in traffic but some retailers reporting stronger activity.

“What we are seeing thus far is a mix. For some retailers it has been a bit stronger than expected. Others have seen relatively little response,” as states like Georgia relax rules in the southern Fed district, Bostic said.

“Preliminary data we have, looking at cell phone numbers, suggest that movement has not gone up appreciably….Whether having an open economic policy is going to translate into economic activity — we are going to learn this in the next couple of weeks,” he said, referring to data sources that map cell phone locations to retail stores.

(Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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