Powell Says Economy May Be in Recession, Virus Will Dictate Timetable

Chairman Jerome Powell speaks in Washington

Chairman Jerome Powell speaks in Washington

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell mentioned the central bank will care for its muscular efforts to toughen the drift of credit score in the USA financial system as Americans hunker down from the coronavirus pandemic.

In a rare interview on NBC's Today on Thursday, the Fed chair said the bank's efforts are focused on helping the economy recover quickly once the threat from the virus has passed.

"The sooner we get through this period and get the virus under control, the sooner the recovery can come.We know that economic activity will decline probably substantially in the second quarter but I think many expect and I would expect economic activity to resume and move back up in the second half of the year", Powell said. "There's nothing fundamentally wrong with our economy". "That just doesn't happen", he said.

"The virus is going to dictate the timetable", Powell told host Savannah Guthrie. The president himself has said he wants the economy to be "roaring" by Easter, in a little over two weeks.

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Yoon said most religious venues turned to online services and most others complied with new rules on distance between people at gatherings.

It has cut its benchmark interest rate to almost zero, embarked on an unlimited bond-buying program to pump cash into the financial system and set up several emergency programs meant to ensure that banks can keep lending to companies and city and state governments. "People are being asked to close their business, to stay home from work, and not engage in certain economic activity, and so they are pulling back".

He was speaking after the US Senate had approved a $2trn economic relief package overnight that included $456bn for the Treasury to backstop ten times that amount in emergency actions by the Fed in markets for corporate as well as short-term state and local government debt. But I would point to the difference between this and a normal recession.

Powell is a frequent target for the president, who regularly slams him for not acting as fast as Trump would like to cut interest rates. "We can continue to make loans and really the point of all that is to support the flow of credit in the economy to households and businesses".

"At a certain point, we will get the virus under control and confidence will return", Powell said.

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