Fed’s Powell provides economic update amid coronavirus pandemic

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell offered an economic update and discussed the Fed’s unprecedented fiscal response in a speech given Wednesday at the Peterson Institute. The Fed has continuously stated it will use its tools to their fullest potential until the crisis has passed and the economic recovery is well underway.

“Chairman Powell acknowledged the unprecedented fiscal response, but he clearly believes that it is money well spent if it helps to minimize long-lasting damage to the nation’s economic prospects,” said NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Curt Long. “On the topic of negative rates, Chairman Powell firmly denied any interest from the FOMC at this time. The Fed would rather expand on the tools it is currently using, if needed.”

During his speech, Powell previewed a Fed survey set to be released today that “reflects findings similar to many others: Among people who were working in February, almost 40% of those in households making less than $40,000 a year had lost a job in March.”

“This reversal of economic fortune has caused a level of pain that is hard to capture in words, as lives are upended amid great uncertainty about the future,” Powell said.


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