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U.S. economists are split on whether the widespread distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine will result in a complete return to pre-Covid norms.

The U.S. Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) issued the results of its latest biannual survey of chief economists at major financial firms, which indicated that many don’t expect daily life to return to normal, even after vaccines are widely deployed.

For instance, the survey found that over half of respondents (56%) said that employees will never return to offices at pre-Covid levels.

Just 19% expect offices will return to normal by the second half of 2021, and another 19% expect offices to return to normal by the second half of 2022.

Similarly, the survey found that 38% expect consumers to return to “high-density” activities at pre-Covid levels once vaccines have been distributed, while another 38% expect a resumption of activities but at “nowhere near” pre-Covid levels.

Only 6% said that substantial curbs will remain even with vaccines, while 19% weren’t sure.

Over half of economists (57%) said that labour force participation will not return to historical averages until after 2022, with 29% expecting it by the second half of 2022.

On the economic front, survey respondents expect U.S. GDP to fall by 2.5% this year, before rebounding by 3.5% in 2021 (median forecasts).

“We are in for a difficult winter, but more fiscal support and positive developments on the vaccine front should help households and businesses look for that light at the end of the tunnel,” said Ellen Zentner, chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley and chair of SIFMA’s economic advisory roundtable.

“The promising news is that we are asking ourselves how good next year will be, whereas in 2020 the question was how bad would it be,” Zentner said.

In terms of fiscal stimulus, 56% of respondents expect that the next round of stimulus will occur after the presidential inauguration in January. Another 38% expect fiscal stimulus by the end of the year.

If there is no more fiscal stimulus, economists would lower their GDP forecasts for 2021.

Over a third (36%) would expect forecasts to be trimmed by between 20 and 40 basis points, and 43% said this could lower 2021 GDP forecasts by over 40 bps.

In terms of monetary policy, none of the economists surveyed expect that the U.S. Federal Reserve will take interest rates into negative territory. Less than a third (31%) expect the Fed to begin raising its target rate in 2023, and over half (56%) expect that won’t take place until after 2023.