Federal Reserve Chairman Says U.S. Economy ‘May Well Be in a Recession’ Amid Coronavirus Downturn


Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stated the U.S. financial system “may well be in a recession” because of the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, but additionally advised there might be a “good rebound” later this 12 months.

Powell instructed NBC News’ Today present that the financial downturn ensuing from the COVID-19 outbreak was “not a typical downturn” as individuals had been being requested to shutter their companies for public well being causes.

He additionally stated that there was “nothing fundamentally wrong” with the underlying U.S. financial system and argued that confidence would return when the unfold of the novel coronavirus was below management.

The Federal Reserve boss’s emphasis on the virus being managed earlier than financial exercise might resume appeared to diverge from President Donald Trump’s aim to have American “opened up and raring to go” by Easter.

Federal Reserve Chairman Says U.S. Economy 'May Well Be in a Recession' Amid Coronavirus Downturn
Jerome Powell speaks throughout a press convention after a Federal Open Market Committee assembly in Washington, DC on July 31, 2019. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP through Getty Images

In its efforts to curb the financial injury brought on by the continued unfold of COVID-19, the Federal Reserve has slashed rates of interest to close zero and promised to purchase an infinite quantity of presidency bonds.

Asked if there was any restrict to the cash the Federal Reserve was prepared to pump into the American financial system, Powell stated: “In certain circumstances like the present, we do have the ability to essentially use our emergency lending authorities, and the only limit on that will be how much backstop we get from the Treasury Department.”

“Essentially the answer to your question is no,” he added. “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.”

He later stated the COVID-19 pandemic’s affect on the financial system was a “unique situation” and stated it was “not a typical downturn.”

“People are being asked to close their businesses, stay home from work and to not engage in certain kinds of economic activity, and so they’re pulling back,” he stated.

“At a certain point we will get the spread of the virus under control, and at that time confidence will return, businesses will open again and people will come back to work.”

Powell added that he believed there might a “good rebound” on the opposite aspect of the downturn and defined that the Fed was making an attempt to make the rebound “as vigorous as possible.”

NBC News host Savannah Guthrie later pressed the Federal Reserve chairman on whether or not he believed the U.S. was in a recession or inevitably heading for one.

“We may well be in a recession, but again I would point to the difference between this and a normal recession,” Powell stated. “There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with our economy. Quite the contrary, the economy performed very well right through February.”

He later added: “In principle, if we get the virus spread under control fairly quickly then economic activity can resume, and we want to make that rebound as vigorous as possible.”

Addressing considerations that the Fed was “running out of ammo” in its combat towards financial decline, Powell stated: “When it comes to this lending, we’re not going to run out of ammunition.”

Newsweek has contacted the Federal Reserve for additional remark and can replace this text with any response.

The Federal Reserve Chairman made his remarks earlier than new preliminary jobless claims had been revealed by the Department of Labor on Thursday morning.

A record-breaking surge noticed preliminary unemployment claims soar to three.three million throughout the United States within the week ending March 21. The Labor Department stated the numbers had been at their “highest level” in historical past.

Powell’s feedback additionally adopted the Senate unanimous vote in favor of a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package deal on Wednesday evening that can see loans made accessible to companies whereas Americans obtain particular person checks for as a lot as $1,200.