Powell signals Fed is open to rate cut as coronavirus raises economic concerns

Powell signals Fed is open to rate cut as coronavirus raises economic concerns

Business·2020-02-29 04:40

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FILE PHOTO: Jerome Powell holds a news conference in Washington

source

Reuters

Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell sought to reassure businesses and investors Friday afternoon.

As concerns about the coronavirus continued to escalate, Powell said the fundamentals of the US economy remained strong.

But he signaled that the central bank would step in if necessary.

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell sought to reassure businesses and investors Friday afternoon as concerns about the coronavirus continued to escalate.

In a brief statement, Powell said the fundamentals of the US economy remained strong but signaled that the central bank was open to a rate cut if necessary. Financial markets dropped sharply this week as the government warned the respiratory illness COVID-19 would likely spread through communities in the US.

“The coronavirus poses evolving risks to economic activity,” Powell said. “The Federal Reserve is closely monitoring developments and their implications for the economic outlook. We will use our tools and act as appropriate to support the economy.”

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