• A Fed survey released Friday indicates 77% of households said they were doing OK in July
  • The Fed said government aid and charitable organizations contributed to the feeling of well-being
  • Moynihan said 95% of the economy has recovered from the pandemic shutdowns

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said Friday more economic stimulus is necessary before the economy can recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The comments came as the Federal Reserve released a survey indicating previous rounds of stimulus spending enabled American families to get through the early stages of the downturn.

Negotiations on the next round of stimulus spending have been stalled since Aug. 7 with little prospect of anything getting done before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

“You’re back up to where 95% of the economy is back,” Moynihan told Bloomberg. “We’ve got to help everybody else get across.”

Moynihan pointed to a 0.6% increase in retail sales last month, following a 0.9% increase the previous month, despite the expiration of the $600 supplemental unemployment benefit. Only half the jobs that were lost when the economy shut down because of the pandemic in late March and early April have come back, with nearly 30 million Americans currently collecting jobless benefits.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing for $2.2 trillion in coronavirus stimulus spending, down from the $3.4 trillion Democrats sought in May. The White House and Senate Republicans, however, are balking at the price tag although President Trump has signaled he is open to upping the GOP bid.

Moynihan urged lawmakers to approve a new round of paycheck protection financing.

“What we need, I think, is pretty straightforward: You need more stimulus for the people,” he said.

The Fed survey indicated families received many forms of assistance at the start of the pandemic, both from the federal government and charitable organizations. The result was 77% of families saying they were doing OK or living comfortably – 2% more than those who said so last October before the pandemic hit.

The survey indicated the pandemic had affected Americans unevenly, with low-income workers suffering the most damage and more minority workers reporting their employers not taking enough precautions against spread of the virus.