UPDATED 1:15 PM PT — Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has noted additional action will likely be needed to help the U.S. economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, he said “the path ahead is both highly uncertain and subject to significant downside risks.”
According to the chairman, the current economic downturn is “a level of pain that is hard to capture in words.”
“The scope and speed of this downturn are without modern precedent, significantly worse than any recession since World War II. We are seeing a severe decline in economic activity and in employment. Already, the job gains of the past decade have been erased.” – Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve
Despite calls for the Fed to lower interest rates into negative territory, Powell has said that policy is not being considered. The chairman suggested Congress may need to step in with more fiscal stimulus to help the U.S. economy recover.
He acknowledged that support would be costly, but “worth it if it helps avoid long-term economic damage and leaves us with a stronger recovery.”