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Regional Team Monitors COVID-19 Effects

Laura Ullrich, regional economist for the Carolinas, spoke on video about economic conditions.

One of the ways the Richmond Fed is monitoring economic conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic is through its regional economic research team.

This group of economists routinely talks with a range of people throughout the Fifth District, including employers and business owners, in support of the Bank’s reports, surveys and publications. That work has taken on an additional purpose in recent weeks.

“The connections we are making with businesses across the District gives us first-hand information on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting our District firms and communities,” said Sonya Ravindranath Waddell, an economist who leads the team.

“The quantitative data give us a more aggregated view of the situation,” she said. “Only by connecting that data to the conversations can we best understand how the pandemic is playing out in our economy and thus enable us to provide the best information we can to our policymakers, our contacts, and the general public.”

One way the information gathered by the team reaches the public is through the news media and social media. In recent weeks, the economists have been quoted by news outlets throughout the region served by the Richmond Fed and had their comments amplified online by social media.

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