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Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at the G20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Venice last month. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images

One of the country's most influential economic officials doesn't anticipate that surging coronavirus cases will knock the reopening recovery off course.

What he's saying: "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.

Go deeper: Fed acknowledges economic progress, maintains supportive policy

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
Sep 22, 2021 - Axios Denver

Defying the pandemic, Colorado sees an economic rebound

Expand chart
Data: Colorado Legislative Council Economic Outlook; Note: 2021 average is from September 2020 to August 2021; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The state's economy continues to show substantial growth even as coronavirus cases hit 2021 highs and inequities persist.

Why it matters: The dichotomy — revealed Tuesday in two economic forecasts — is driving how Colorado leaders respond to the pandemic and decide to allocate billions in state and federal relief.

House passes $768 billion defense spending bill

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House approved a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year in a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: The annual bill, which authorizes Pentagon spending levels and guides policy for the department, would require women to register for the military draft, among other provisions.

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans’ secret lobbying

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The five Senate Republicans who helped negotiate and draft the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill have been privately courting their Republican colleagues to pass the measure in the House.

Why it matters: House GOP leaders are actively urging their members to oppose the bill. The senators are working to undercut that effort as Monday shapes up as a do-or-die moment for the bipartisan bill.