Bank of America CEO says more stimulus needed to help last of recovery

Register now

Bank of America Chief Executive Brian Moynihan called for another round of federal stimulus to help the U.S. reach a full economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

"You're back up to where 95% of the economy is back," Moynihan said Friday in an interview with David Westin in advance of next week's Bloomberg Equality Summit, adding that more help is needed for restaurants, airlines, performing-arts venues and state and local governments so they can "cross that same bridge" as housing, health-care and other recovered industries. "We've got to help everybody else get across."

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan.
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan.

Moynihan said a year-over-year increase in consumer spending is a sign of the economy's resilience. U.S. retail sales rose 0.6% last month, following a 0.9% gain in July, the Commerce Department reported earlier this week.

Government support for small businesses is running dry with the Paycheck Protection Program having closed in early August, and a supplemental $600 a week in unemployment benefits having expired at the end of July. Some House Democrats are keeping pressure on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring a new coronavirus relief bill up for a vote next week as they look to signal that the party is pursuing a deal to bolster the economy. Pelosi has held firm that the White House should first agree on a $2.2 trillion plan Democrats have put on the table.

A "second bite at the apple" for PPP would help the economy come back fully, Moynihan said.

"The idea of it recovering that last five percentage points tomorrow morning — it's going to take a while to grind through that," he said, adding that more government support would help industries still struggling. "What we need, I think, is pretty straightforward: You need more stimulus for the people."

Bloomberg News
Economy Paycheck Protection Program Brian Moynihan Bank of America