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Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan believes that the United States is “starting to win the war” against COVID-19, with the economy reaching “roughly” pre-pandemic levels. 

The economy shrank considerably during the pandemic, contracting by about 3.5%: More than 400,000 small businesses closed, and some Americans had to rely on stimulus checks to make some purchases. 

Moynihan said during an appearance on CBS show “Face the Nation” that vaccination efforts and reopening businesses has provoked a strong response from the economy.

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“Spending is up dramatically,” Moynihan said. “Car rentals, hotels for leisure, travel, not business travel yet – that will probably be late this fall – is strong, theme park bookings and things like that.”

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“Those are all very good signs,” he added. “It’s shifting from buying food in the store to more people going to sit-down restaurants, even have a quick service restaurant. So you’re seeing that natural behavior.”

Bank of America has projected significant growth this year – around 7% – with similar though slightly slower growth in 2022 – closer to 5.5%. 

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Already, the country has seen around 4% growth, which Moynihan said has made the economy “roughly” as big as it was pre-pandemic.

“Our consumers have lots of money in their checking accounts,” Moynihan explained. “Companies have unused lines in their spending by our consumer, which is a trillion for so far this year is up 20 percent over 2019 and obviously a lot over 2020.”

That growth has allowed for business owners to shift priorities: Bank of America conducts seasonal surveys, with the fall and spring surveys showing different attitudes and concerns. 

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In the fall, business owners were concerned about the pandemic and how it would hurt their businesses; by the Spring, though, business owners are more concerned about supply chain issues and hiring workers. 

“We’re seeing the originations actually exceed what they were in 2019 for the month of May,” Moynihan claimed. “They’re a little bit up in April. They’re basically flattish in March.”

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“They have things to sell and manufacture, to sell to their customers,” he continued. “And that’s something that’s straightening out, but we’ll take a little time.”