WASHINGTON. – The economic outlook is "highly uncertain" in the United States, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Wednesday, calling for new stimulus.
"The resurgence in recent months of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths causes great hardship for millions of Americans and weighs on economic activity and job creation," he said, while welcoming the idea of additional fiscal stimulus. that will allow companies and hospitals to face the crisis.
After two days of meetings of the organization, the head of the Fed He pointed out at a press conference that the health of the world's largest economy depends on the progress of the pandemic and the pace at which vaccination is processed.
Newly inaugurated President Joe Biden wants the vaccine to reach 100 million people in the first 100 days of his term.
Powell's comments ended up sinking Wall Street, with the Dow Jones losing 2%.
Millions of people remain unemployed, deplored Powell, who indicated that the "true rate" of unemployment is close to 10% if those who left the labor market and stopped looking for work are included. The official rate is 6,7%.
In this context, the Fed kept interest rates in a range of 0 to 0,25% as expected, as has been the case since March 2020 when the pandemic hit the US economy sharply.
These rates will remain at these historically low levels until the country returns to full employment and inflation approaches 2% or is "on track to moderately exceed 2%," the Fed head said.
This 2021 meeting is the first since Biden assumed the US presidency. External source
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