WASHINGTON (AP) – The US economy is ready for strong growth – a long period of employment, said the chairman of the Federal Reserve in an interview on Sunday, although the coronavirus still carries some risk.
Speaking to CBS “60 Minutes”, Jer Jerome Powell said he did not expect to raise the Fed’s key interest rate this year, which is currently almost zero. And he reduced the risk of high inflation due to the sharp rise in public spending and the widening of the budget deficit.
“We feel we are in a place where the economy is going to grow much faster, creating jobs much faster,” Powell said. “This growth, which we expect in the second half of this year, will be very strong. And job creation, I expect to be very strong. ”
In a lengthy interview, Powell said the Fed is closely monitoring the development of the digital dollar, but has not yet decided whether to continue. Powell said last month that the central bank would not issue digital currency without congressional approval.
Powell noted that about one million jobs were added in March, when January-February job data revisions were included. Unemployment fell from 6.2% to 6%.
“We would like to see a series of such months,” he said. “It is, of course, within reach.”
However, there are about 8.4 million fewer jobs than before the epidemic, Powell said, adding that he sees a homeless camp near the Fed Center in Washington.
“There is still a lot of suffering there. “And I think it is possible that, as a country, we should stay and help those people,” he said. “The economy we will return to will be different from the economy we have.”
Powell added that the primary risk to the economy remains the epidemic and the precautionary measures that Americans have taken over the past year.
“The main risk is that we will open very quickly, people will return to their old practice very quickly, we will see another increase in cases,” he said. “The economy needs to move forward. “But it can move forward faster as long as we control the spread of COVID.”